MGC Pharmaceuticals has reported more positive findings as it continues to investigate the efficacy of its Artemic natural supplement in tackling COVID-19.

The ASX-listed firm said preclinical trials analysed the level of pro-inflammatory markers in mice going through the cytokine storm.

Cytokines play a key role in fighting a virus, but too many can be counterproductive

While playing an important role in fighting viruses, the release of too many cytokines – a “storm” –  can be counterproductive and is believed to be the main cause of COVID deaths.

In the study arm treated by Artemic, a natural supplement designed to target viral infections with inflammatory complications, the results demonstrated reduced cytokine levels in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of the mice.

MGC said the study used the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) model, which is the recommended preclinical animal model for the prediction of the human model of COVID patients.

The results support earlier findings of a double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial which found Artemic significantly improved the clinical recovery of 50 COVID-19 patients in comparison to a placebo.

MGC said the new data will be used in the design of future clinical trials for different indications.

MGC Pharma co-founder and managing director Roby Zomer said: “The findings from the phase II clinical trials, which are supported by the completed preclinical trial results, continue to demonstrate the effectiveness of Artemic in treating patients with different variants of COVID-19.

“We are now looking to get Artemic into more territories as a supplement and herbal health product following these findings.”