A peer-reviewed study in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine found that an inhaled form of interferon may be used to treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
The body naturally releases interferon when faced with an invader of some kind, such as a virus or other pathogen. Like the name suggests, it works by interfering with viral replication. Some researchers have suggested that Covid-19 patients tend to have a deficiency of interferon, especially in their blood and lungs.
In theory, boosting levels of interferon in the body would help patients fight off illnesses, such as Covid-19. Indeed, a study published in May suggested that the coronavirus tends to inhibit the body’s natural interferon response.
The new study from Synairgen, a drug company based in the U.K., used an inhaled type of interferon, called interferon beta-1a (SNG001). In this case, the drug is delivered directly to the respiratory tract.