A survey conducted by the COPD Foundation and ENA Respiratory found individuals with COPD were overwhelmingly positive about the prospect of taking an antiviral nasal spray throughout the winter season or when at risk for exposure to a respiratory virus to prevent COPD flare-ups.

The survey, published in the January issue of the Journal of Patient Experience, was conducted through the COPD Foundation’s COPD360Net initiative, which facilitates connections between patients with chronic lung diseases, researchers, and other stakeholders to identify unmet patient needs and accelerate new therapy options.

The vast majority (>80%) of the 376 patients surveyed expressed interest in a potential new seasonal antiviral nasal spray, taken either twice weekly during the winter months or for two weeks after exposure to someone with a respiratory illness. Over half (56-58%) of patients with frequent COPD exacerbations were very interested.

Nearly all patients surveyed (>92%) said they were vaccinated for the flu, pneumonia, and COVID-19 and had previously taken antiviral medication during cold and flu season. Even so, more than a third (35%) reported that viral illnesses had sometimes resulted in hospitalization, and nearly half (45%) had needed antibiotics or steroids to treat complications of a viral illness. About 1 in 8 (12%) said they had been treated in an intensive care unit due to complications of a respiratory illness.

“Patient insights are critical to successful therapy development, but too often the patient’s voice isn’t heard. These survey results provide additional evidence that we need more tools in the toolbox to protect people with chronic lung diseases during cold and flu season and prevent flare-ups and complications,” says Ruth Tal-Singer, Ph.D., president of 360Net, COPD Foundation, in a press release.

ENA Respiratory and the COPD Foundation launched a partnership in 2022 to develop INNA-051, a broad-spectrum antiviral immunomodulatory nasal spray, for people with chronic lung diseases. The partnership added INNA-051 to the COPD Foundation’s COPD360Net pipeline and is utilizing its global network of accredited centers, scientific expertise, and patient investigators to optimize and accelerate the clinical development program.

Recently, ENA Respiratory was awarded a $4.38 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to support the development of INNA-051. In a phase 1 study, INNA-051 was found to be well-tolerated, and the company expects to share phase 2a results soon.