A hospitalised patient wearing a face mask
15 June 2020

Vicore Pharma to trial promising COVID-19 treatment

Swedish drug developer Vicore Pharma has been awarded £1.2 million (approx. SEK 18 million) from a UK charity to trial a hopeful treatment for COVID-19 patients.

“The coronavirus pandemic is a health emergency with thousands of deaths and life-impacting measures in place across the world. LifeArc rapidly made £10m available to repurpose existing medicines or those in the late stage of development as this offers one of the fastest routes to develop new treatments that could tackle the virus and its impact, while we wait for a vaccine to be developed,” says Hans Jeppsson, CFO at Vicore Pharma.

Vicore Pharma develops medicines for rare lung disorders. With the funding from LifeArc, its most advanced drug candidate, known as VP01, will be trialled in the UK on approximately 100 hospitalised COVID-19 patients.   

“We are grateful for and pleased with LifeArc’s decision to make a significant financial contribution to our phase II trial with VP01 in COVID-19 patients. Our study was prioritized by an expert panel among a large number of applications”, said Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, CEO of Vicore Pharma, in a press release.

Vicore Pharma anticipates the results from the COVID-19 study during the fourth quarter of this year.  

 

It all started in Gothenburg

The pharma company has its origins in Gothenburg and was part of AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub until it was listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm main list in 2019. The company currently has some administration and R&D operations in Gothenburg. In addition, it has staff and collaboration partners at several locations in Europe.                   

“Vicore’s ties to Gothenburg go back to the foundation of the company in 2000, based on research from the Sahlgrenska Academy [at the University of Gothenburg] and Uppsala University. The company has expanded significantly over the past years and now also has operations and employees in Stockholm, Copenhagen and London,” says Hans Jeppsson.

Vicore Pharma’s funding award highlights the need for more collaboration, explains Iris Öhrn, investment advisor for life science at Business Region Göteborg. And not only between companies and sectors in a region, but between countries.

“Innovation is global, especially in our sector, where patients are everywhere. We need to find universal health solutions and Sweden and our companies are well positioned to make a valuable contribution,” she says.

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