- Shares in Finnish group Faron Pharmaceuticals fell 18% on Friday after the results of a World Health Organization trial showed that a potential treatment for Covid-19 did not reduce mortality in hospitalised patients.

The results of the trial of subcutaneous interferon (IFN) beta-1a were made available as a pre-print while under review for publication in a medical journal.

The WHO's intent-to-treat analysis compared 1,412 patients who received IFN beta-1a and 2,050 control subjects not receiving IFN beta-1a.

Overall in-hospital mortality was 12.9% in the IFN beta-1a group and 11% in the control group.

'These first results from the Solidarity Trial are disappointing, given the need for new therapeutics to support the global response to Covid-19,' Faron chief executive Markku Jalkanen said.

'They do support our long held view that IFN beta-1a is likely to be ineffective when given subcutaneously.'

'The science behind Traumakine and its potential to prevent multi-organ failure, through the upregulation of the key endothelial enzyme CD73, is compelling and we continue to believe that an intravenous formulation of IFN beta-1a is what patients need, to strengthen the body's own IFN beta signalling - the first line of defence against viral infection - and provide optimal exposure to the lung vasculature.'

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