Symptoms of long COVID-19 infection may be ameliorated in part with an experimental interferon (IFN)-β-based inhaled treatment, according to study results presented at IDWeek 2022, held from October 19 to 23, in Washington, DC.

Between 1 and 5 individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience a range of symptoms that can persist for months. As IFN-β is key for defense against viral infection, a randomized controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of an inhaled IFN-β-1a nebulizer solution (SNG001) for decreasing hospitalization or recovery time. Although results of this trial showed no significant effects for its primary endpoints, SNG001 was associated with significant decreased risk for progression to severe disease or death.

In this analysis, researchers evaluated the effect of SNG001 on long COVID-19 symptoms. Patients with COVID-19 who required low-flow oxygen supplementation were randomly assigned to receive either SNG001 (n=314) or placebo (n=309) once daily for 14 days. Long COVID-19 symptoms were assessed at days 60 and 90 by telephone- or video call-based follow-up visits. Outcomes were evaluated using General Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire 7, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue, and Brief Pain Inventory scale scores.

At follow-up, fewer SNG001 recipients reported loss of smell and/or taste (n=6 vs n=16; relative risk reduction [RRR], 61.4%; P =.003) and fatigue or malaise (n=27 vs n=43; RRR, 35.4%; P =.045) compared with placebo recipients, respectively. In addition, fewer SNG001 recipients reported dyspnea (n=23) than placebo recipients (n=33), however this difference did not reach statistical significance (RRR, 28.3%; P =.180).

This study may have been limited by not evaluating additional common symptoms of Long COVID-19.

According to the researchers, “these findings, suggesting SNG001 may be impacting common long COVID symptoms, provide additional support for the further investigation of SNG001.”

Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Monk PD, Evans RA, Tear VJ, et al. Impact of treatment of hospitalised COIVD-19 pateints with inhaled interferon beta-1a (SNG001) on long COVID symptoms: results from the SPRINTER trial. Presented at: IDWeek 2022; October 19 to 23; Washington, DC. Poster LB1533.

This article first appeared on Infectious Disease Advisor.