Mallinckrodt to fund trial to test nitric oxide therapy in COVID-19 patients

April 30 (Reuters) - Mallinckrodt Plc said on Thursday it would fund a trial conducted by medical experts, evaluating the potential benefits of its respiratory therapy, INOmax, as a treatment for lung complications in patients infected with the new coronavirus.

There are no treatments approved for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, and researchers are rushing to repurpose existing therapies such as nitric oxide-releasing drug INOmax.

Mallinckrodt said it would support and provide INOmax for a clinical study at Massachusetts General Hospital that would assess the effectiveness of inhaled nitric oxide in reversing abnormally low oxygen levels in the blood of COVID-19 patients with severe lung complications.

Over 170 hospitals in the United States have reported using INOmax to treat lung complications in COVID-19 patients, according to the company.

Earlier this month, the company received approval from Canada’s health regulator to conduct a clinical study, in collaboration with Novoteris LLC, to test inhaled nitric oxide therapy in COVID-19 patients. The companies expect to start enrollment in the coming days.

Mallinckrodt has also said it was working with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration on the possibility of making INOmax available to COVID-19 patients in the country.

The company markets INOmax in the United States for the treatment of respiratory failure associated with pulmonary hypertension, a condition of increased blood pressure within the arteries of the lungs.

Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva