A SCOTTISH biotech firm is developing a Covid-19 treatment that promises to be 20 times more effective than anything else of its kind.
ILC Therapeutics is preparing for clinical trials of an artificial interferon later this year.
The drug – Alfacyte – boosts the immune response and prevents the virus replicating.
It is hoped that treatment with the drug will prevent the vast majority of hospitalisations.
The boss of NHS England recently predicted that treatments of this type could be available within six to 18 months.
Sir Simon Stevens said therapeutic treatments would help the UK return to a more normal way of life.
Alan Walker, CEO of ILC Therapeutics, based in Newhouse, North Lanarkshire, welcomed Sir Simon’s remarks.
He said: “The vaccine roll out in the UK has been going extremely well and it will play an important role not only in preventing people getting the virus but also in providing therapeutic options that can treat the viral infection.
“A strong therapeutic, such as the synthetic Interferons we are developing, will have the potential to prevent hospitalisations and severe illness.”
He added: “This can change the entire complexion of how we fight this virus and enable us to ease social restrictions which have a high cost on society and the economy.
“Most importantly, like the vaccines, it will potentially save many thousands of lives and will be a vital addition to our healthcare armoury, not just against Covid-19 but any viral disease outbreaks in the future.”
ILC Therapeutics is one of two British companies hoping to bring therapeutic Interferons to patients.
Laboratory testing last year showed that Alfacyte is at least 20 times more effective than any other therapeutic Interferon in the market.