Spain's PharmaMar says potential COVID-19 treatment shows efficacy against Omicron

The results of the trials were released in a paper published in the scientific journal Life Science Alliance, PharmaMar said.

Syringes with needles are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words "Omicron SARS-CoV-2" in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)
Syringes with needles are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words "Omicron SARS-CoV-2" in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)

Spain's PharmaMar said on Tuesday trials made in vitro and on animals showed its Plitidepsin drug had positive antiviral effects on the variants of COVID-19, including Omicron.

The results of Phase I trials have shown the drug, also known as Aplidin, had a powerful antiviral activity against all the variants in vitro and distribution into the lungs of animals tested, resulting in a 99% reduction of viral load in the lungs, the company said.

The results of the trials were released in a paper published in the scientific journal Life Science Alliance, PharmaMar said.

The paper also reported the positive effects of Phase I and II trials on patients.

"All data we have seen so far with Plitidepsin corroborate our initial hypothesis of its activity as antiviral," PharmaMar's Jose Maria Fernandez Sousa said in a statement.

 People pose with syringe with needle in front of displayed words ''OMICRON SARS-COV-2'' in this illustration taken, December 11, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO) People pose with syringe with needle in front of displayed words ''OMICRON SARS-COV-2'' in this illustration taken, December 11, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)

The drug is being tested in final Phase III trials on patients.

Shares in PharmaMar rose 5.3% in early trading.

Plitidepsin is a drug developed by PharmaMar originally to treat cancer but has an effect as an antiviral