Manuscript Describes How TLC’s Inhalable Liposomal Hydroxychloroquine May Provide Clinical Benefit and Serve as Potential Treatment for COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is an anti-malarial and anti-inflammatory drug that has been shown to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro and tested in clinical studies. However, recent clinical trials studying orally ingested HCQ have shown inconclusive results due to the extremely high doses required to achieve effective antiviral levels. The manuscript describes a nonclinical pharmacokinetics study in which, comparing equivalent doses of inhalable liposomal HCQ to intravenous (to represent oral) unformulated HCQ, inhalable liposomal HCQ achieved increased exposure (~30-fold) and half-life (~2.5-fold) in the lungs while also achieving lower blood and heart exposure. Moreover, the study results suggest a sustained release, liposomal formulation of HCQ might provide preferentially higher concentrations in the lung than an aerosolized, non-liposomal HCQ formulation, which is retained in the lung only transiently and distributed rapidly from lung to systemic circulation. An inhalable liposomal formulation of HCQ would require significantly lower doses - a tiny fraction of the oral dose - to achieve sufficient and locally sustained drug exposure in the lungs, reducing the systemic and cardiac toxicities commonly seen with high doses of oral HCQ.
“A global pandemic requires a global effort. In these unprecedented times, we should all put the wellbeing of the people first and do what we can to help,” said
The manuscript, entitled “A Strategy to Treat COVID-19 Disease with Targeted Delivery of Inhalable Liposomal Hydroxychloroquine: A Non-clinical Pharmacokinetic Study”, has been submitted for publication and is currently under peer review. The pre-print full manuscript can be accessed at the following link:
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can lead to respiratory illness, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people and can evolve into strains not previously identified in humans. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency with 13.3 million confirmed cases and over 578,000 deaths. It has made many more to be stricken with debilitating respiratory illnesses, overwhelmed health care workers and hospitals, and caused crippling of the global economy. At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19.
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