Zyesami (aviptadil, synthetic VIP) materials are set to be delivered to TFF to perform feasibility formulation work and testing in an effort to identify an optimal, long-term, stable formulation of Zyesami into a dry powder form for aerosol delivery directly to the lungs, according to a news release.
The therapeutic is a synthetic form of a naturally occurring peptide — vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) — found in the lung and known to protect the Alveolar Type II cell targeted by SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The decreased surfactant production and increased cytokine production caused by COVID-19 can also be a common pathway for sepsis-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and checkpoint inhibitor pneumonitis associated with certain cancer drugs.
NeuroRx and TFF Pharmaceuticals believe the ability to deliver VIP directly to the lung via inhalation through the dry powder formulation of Zyesami could have important therapeutic implications and potentially expand the application of the drug to patients who are less severely affected by COVID-19.
“We are excited that Zyesami has demonstrated a highly significant reduction in time to hospital discharge for seriously ill COVID-19 patients treated with High Flow Nasal Oxygen, along with an increased likelihood of recovery and excellent safety,” NeuroRx CEO Dr. Jonathan C. Javitt said in the release. “Although our current production methods yield a drug that is sufficiently stable for emergency use, a long-term, shelf-stable formulation will be needed for ongoing use of Zyesami, once the pandemic subsides. The thin-film freezing technology holds great promise in potentially making this available to patients with other stages of COVID-19 with an inhaled form of Zyesami.”
“The work being done by the NeuroRx team with Zyesami on behalf of critically ill patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure is both remarkable and gratifying,” added TFF Pharmaceuticals president & CEO Glenn Mattes. “The potential opportunity to bring this important new therapeutic to patients earlier in the treatment cycle is exciting. We are very pleased to be collaborating with the NeuroRx Team with our thin-film freezing technology.”