Relief says some COVID-19 patients who got its drug survived longer, awaits trial data

ZURICH, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Relief Therapeutics said on Tuesday that more people who received a 50-year-old drug that the Swiss company is seeking to re-purpose against COVID-19 were alive beyond 60 days than were those who did not get the medicine.

Relief -- which is still awaiting results of randomized studies of aviptadil, also called RLF-100 -- said 17 of 21 intensive-care patients who got the medicine met the survival threshold, compared to four of 24 patients who did not get aviptadil.

Scientifically rigorous randomized studies are the gold standard for evaluating a potential medicine’s effectiveness, and Relief expects results from two such trials this year.

The company said the patients in this study were too ill with other diseases to be eligible for those trials but said it was “encouraged” by the initial results.

“We look forward to the upcoming results from the randomized, double-blind, prospective trial in less severely comorbid patients for confirmation of these results,” said Jihad Georges Youssef, the study’s principal investigator at Houston Methodist Hospital, in a statement issued by Relief and its U.S.-based partner, privately held NeuroRx Inc. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)