How is ViroGates and suPARnostic® affected by the COVID-19 outbreak?
Many shareholders currently ask us how the COVID-19 outbreak impacts ViroGates. The short answer is that ViroGates is affected in many ways.
How are you ensuring efficient operations?
We are, like many other companies, working from home to avoid to transmit the disease. We are interacting in new ways using various digital tools. This is a learning experience, but we manage to meet via video-calls and we are keept busy as ever.
Can suPARnostic® be used to help hospitals battling COVID-19?
From a scientific standpoint, we are cautious until we have actual clinical data. However, in numerous [past studies / none COVID-19] studies, we have seen that measuring suPAR is the best prognostic tool when it comes to assessing the overall disease burden in an individual.
The infection medicine area talks about the “host response” to an infection – in other words, how capable the patient is to deal with the viral infection. When a patient is infected with COVID-19, the host response determines whether the patient can deal with the infection on his/her own or whether the patient needs hospitalization. Assessing this is at the core of what suPARnostic® does and has done for many years.
Several studies show that patients with respiratory diseases have elevated suPAR levels and those with the highest level of suPAR have increased 30-day mortality. Without having seen specific COVID-19 and suPAR data yet, we would expect that suPARnostic® could be used to assess the impact that COVID-19 has on the patient and whether the patient can cope with the infection or he/she will need ventilation and therefore need hospitalization. As can be seen from our latest company announcement, hospitals are now using suPARnostic® as one of the tools to assess the severity of patients potentially suffering from COVID-19.
We have extended our help locally in Denmark to help battle the COVID-19 outbreak. We offered our products free of charge to Danish hospitals as you can see on the front page of our website. At Hvidovre Hospital, they started early and now use suPARnostic® for suspected COVID-19 patients in the emergency room.
When can we expect to see scientific data on COVID-19 and suPAR?
We generally know that international scientists collaborate to publish data in new disease areas as fast as possible. We are not in control of these efforts with regards to suPAR and COVID-19, because scientists will be using data from already supplied products. We are eager to hopefully confirm the belief that suPARnostic® is the right tool to help in pandemics like this, as it is in daily practice when prioritizing/triaging the patients.
We are here to help and make the best use of constrained healthcare budgets and hospital/ICU bed shortages while also help physicians improve patient care.
Best Regards from the team at ViroGates