This morning, several media outlets, including the CNBC, pay attention to the Swiss biopharmaceutical company Relief Therapeutics (OTCQB: $RLFTF), focusing on its share that grew by a sensational 38,000% this year. The main reason is RLF-100™ (aviptadil), an advanced clinical development for the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients.
Is RLF-100™ a much needed specialization?
Relief specializes in the search for therapeutic options for serious illnesses with a high unmet medical need. Founded by former Merck (Serono division) executives, it has the necessary experience and expertise, a factor that has built trust among shareholders over the past year. The Company’s programs are in clinical stages with the most advanced programs involving RLF-100™, a synthetic human vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) with versatile mode of action in respiratory indications.
The focus will be on COVID-19 induced lung injury with important short-term milestones, pulmonary sarcoidosis and two other diseases for which no transformational therapy exists yet. Efforts around the COVID-19 are still being made to provide sufficient clinical resources to patients who are in critical condition, causing medical institutions to provide therapeutic options as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, it has been announced that Relief and US partner NeuroRx previously had contact with the HSS about “Operation Warp Speed“, due to the late phase of the RLF-100™ study in January. It caused the Swiss company to experience an impressive increase in the market capitalization. The numbers increased further after the publication of promising results from the first 21 patients tested with RLF-100™, under the watchful eye of the FDA.
Recent developments of RLF-100™ are promising
This was followed up successfully last week when the target of 165 patients was met, something agreed with the FDA in their ongoing Phase 2b/3 trial of RLF-100™. The medicine itself is not big news, as it has been around for 20 years. At the time it was developed for the treatment of acute respiratory distress and other lung conditions. Where interest grew sharply this year was when Relief scientists found that RLF-100™ protects a cell from an attack by the Covid-19 virus.
In the early phase of an extensive study with RLF-100™, it was shown that 72% of patients in the ICU with a critical COVID-19 condition or severe comorbidity survived. In addition, RLF-100™ has also been granted as orphan drug designation for the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) by the FDA. This is an important fact, as it allows the medicine to go far beyond tackling the effects of the COVID-19 virus. Once RLF-100™ is proven to be highly effective against respiratory distress in COVID-19, it is expected that those results can be used to further test the medicine in other forms of ARDS.
What has been announced for 2021?
In January 2021, more topline data is expected that could potentially push the exponential rise of the share even more. The strength of Relief that makes this possible, is its effectiveness and specialization in treating patients in a critical condition, whereas most other biopharmaceutical companies only target mildly to moderately infected patients.
No FDA-approved drug has currently demonstrated efficacy in ICU patients with respiratory failure. With that, Relief appears to be looking forward to a bright future if RLF-100 ™ continues to deliver promising figures and results.
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