NRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:NRXP) has signed an agreement with MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD) to develop a dry powder formulation of ZYESAMI (aviptadil), a synthetic form of human Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP), produced by the body to help protect cells against inflammatory conditions.
Development will be based on MannKind’s Technosphere platform, that is the basis of the U.S. FDA-approved Afrezza inhaled insulin product.
The investigational drug has demonstrated a greater than 2-fold increased odds of survival at 60 days in a phase 2b/3 clinical trial, and demonstrated significantly reduced IL-6 cytokine formation (commonly known as cytokine storm) compared to placebo, the company said.
Both intravenous and inhaled formulations of ZYESAMI are in phase 3 clinical trials funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA), and by NRx.
“We continue to explore ways that our Technosphere technology can deliver unique compounds in a targeted and convenient manner for patients with serious lung diseases,” said Michael Castagna, PharmD, Chief Executive Officer of MannKind Corporation. “The novel coronavirus continues to be a factor around the world, and we are just beginning to bear witness to its long-term effects on the lungs.”
MNKD stock is trading higher by 3.50% and NRXP gained about 4% in the pre-market session.