ILC Therapeutics has set up a research partnership with the University of St Andrews in a bid to progress a therapeutic drug which can treat Covid-19 towards clinical trials.

The Lanarkshire biotech start-up is working with the university’s Catherine Adamson from the school of biology who is looking at the role that its drug Alfacyte can potentially play in preventing Covid-19-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

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It said avoiding the onset of ARDS could help reduce the need for many patients to be on a ventilator and could potentially limit damage to patients’ lungs.

Ms Adamson specialises in virology and the development of antiviral drugs. Professor William Stimson, ILC Therapeutics founder and chief scientific officer, said: “We are delighted to be working with the University of St Andrews to develop our research and work as quickly as possible to bring this potential treatment option to those who need it.

"Dr Adamson’s work in the field of virology is highly respected, and to have her backing in our research for Alfacyte is invaluable as we progress towards eventual clinical trials.”