A BIOTECH veteran has hailed a Glasgow firm that claims to have discovered two separate potential treatments for Covid-19 patients for use before they are put on ventilators.

ILC Therapeutics has appointed Dr Alan Walker as chief executive to lead and streamline the development of the new treatments as it urgently seeks funding of £4 million to accelerate safety studies and clinical trials.

Mr Walker has over 50 years’ experience in the life science sector and is former chief executive of Internis and Ryboquin, also spending 28 years at Warner Lambert.

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He said: “It is remarkable that a small, biotech start-up of this size would have discovered not one but two novel treatment methods, and I want to help charter the course as we hopefully bring these treatments to clinical trials fast and work to save lives.

“There has been much talk within the scientific community of Interferon Alpha 2, but this is not an effective treatment method and frankly has stalled further interferon research by decades.

"ILCT’s Interferon Alpha 14 could prevent the need for patients to be put on ventilators by boosting their innate immune systems as the virus progresses."

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He added: “We have seen that few patients survive once they are put on ventilators, so the quicker we can develop this treatment in a safe and scalable way, the better.”

The firm has patented a new Interferon-Alpha subtype, called Interferon Alpha 14, which an be administered to patients through injection or inhalation.

It claims the natural human molecule treatment could prevent Covid-19 induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which would mean that a considerable number of patients may no longer need to be on a ventilator.

Mr Walker will be leading funding alongside chief scientific officer Professor Bill Stimson. The funding will allow for safety studies and the first clinical trials, in early 2021.

If these are successful, then the Alpha 14 could be accelerated quickly through the drug approval process.