COVID-19 is a novel infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. Many COVID-19 patients with severe disease experience serious, sometimes fatal, respiratory complications caused by an excessive inflammatory response in the lung, primarily driven by T-cells. The inflammatory lung injury related to COVID-19 may be similar to that of interstitial lung diseases, or ILDs.
ATYR1923 has been shown pre-clinically to downregulate T-cell responses, thereby dampening the inflammatory cytokine and chemokine signaling that has been implicated in these severe COVID-19 cases. ATYR1923 has also been shown to improve lung function, as well as to reduce inflammation and fibrosis, in multiple animal models of immune-mediated acute lung injury. By targeting aberrant immune responses, we believe that ATYR1923’s mechanism of action has substantial overlap with this disease pathology and presents a compelling opportunity to potentially treat this subset of COVID-19 patients for which there are no approved therapies.