Synairgen PLC’s (LON:SNG) chief executive Richard Marsden has said that the results from the company’s latest trial of its SNG001 treatment for coronavirus are “a clearer signal then we could have dared to hope for”.

On Monday, the company reported that patients who received SNG001, an inhaled formulation of interferon beta, had a 79% lower risk of developing severe disease compared to those given the placebo.

READ: Synairgen rockets as trial results could signal “major breakthrough” in treatment of severely ill COVID-19 patients

They were also more than twice as likely to recover from the illness than those receiving the substance with no therapeutic value.

“[SNG001] has a protective quality…and it is good that it has produced this effect”, Marsden told Proactive.

The CEO also said that while “conventional wisdom” may dictate that SNG001 should be used early in the infection cycle, there does not seem to be any link between the length of time before the treatment is administered and differences in outcome, with even late administration of the treatment yielding positive results.

“That’s a really pleasant aspect to this data set”, he said.

More broadly, Marsden said analysis of the data needs to be completed before the company approaches regulatory agencies to discuss the next steps for the treatment.

“If the data we’ve got so far plays out and holds true the people getting admitted to hospital…would be protected by the drug and can recover quicker. That’s what we want to see”.

He added that the company is also looking to explore the use of the drug on patients using ventilators.

While there are no exact numbers on the size of the opportunity for SNG001 in hospitals, Marsden said looking at the size of the global problem and the amount of funding going into vaccine problems and economic support mechanisms meant any treatment would be “a very successful commercial product”.

Looking ahead, the CEO said he was still processing the market reaction, but given the “decimation” caused by the pandemic across the world, he thought such a response to a treatment to alleviate the infection was “reasonable”.

Shares in Synairgen were up 5.4% at 200.3p in late-afternoon trading on Tuesday.