Spain's regulator lets PharmaMar test treatment on COVID-19 patients

MADRID, April 29 (Reuters) - Spain’s PharmaMar said on Thursday it received Spanish regulatory approval to carry out a late-stage trial of its Aplidin drug on patients hospitalised with moderate COVID-19 infection.

PharmaMar now has the authorisation to conduct randomised controlled tests on Spanish patients to test the efficacy of its drug, usually used as a cancer treatment, in a so-called Phase III trial for use in COVID-19 cases, it said in a statement.

The company hopes to enrol a pool of 600 patients across 12 countries including France, Portugal and Sweden, as well as other countries outside Europe, the company said.

Britain’s medical regulator authorised the trials two months ago after the journal Science published a paper showing the drug had encouraging antiviral results during in vitro testing.

Shares of PharmaMar were up 5.8% at 96.70 euros after it announced the regulatory decision.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Nathan Allen and Edmund Blair