The excitement around potential therapies for Covid-19 is such that the very earliest data on ADX-1612 – Aldeyra Therapeutics’ phase II-stage mesothelioma and ovarian cancer project ganetespib under a new name – has sent the group’s stock up 20% so far today. In vitro data suggest that the HSP90 inhibitor can block coronavirus-induced cell death at concentrations of 80-160nM, which the company says could make it more potent than Gilead’s remdesivir. A placebo-controlled trial is planned in up to 30 patients hospitalised and on ventilation, ECMO or oxygen for severe Covid-19, though Aldeyra said it was too early to say when data might emerge. Aldeyra is the result of the reverse merger of Madrigal into Synta, which had been developing ganetespib for lung cancer. The group is also developing an aldehyde inhibitor, ADX-629, as a way to prevent cytokine release in patients with milder Covid-19; a 30-patient study is to begin in the third quarter. ADX-629 too is in mid-stage clinical research for ovarian cancer, as well as psoriasis and atopic asthma. Asked whether the company would need a partner to get the products out, chief executive Todd Brady said this “would likely depend on broad-based collaboration”.