Serine Protease Inhibitors to block SARS-CoV-2 SpiKE protein-initiated membrane fusion preventing progression to ARDS (SPIKE TRIAL)

There is currently no approved therapy for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and the current standard of care is supportive treatment. There is growing evidence in vitro and in vivo that inhibiting an enzyme on the surface of a cell can inhibit the ability of the COVID-19 virus from infecting a cell and can help to slow down the spread of the virus around the body. After a worldwide search, we have secured the supply of two compounds that have been used for other indications since 1985 and are able to inhibit the enzyme better than any other drug. They also have an excellent safety profile. One of the medicines can be taken orally (camostat) and one is given in hospital intravenously (nafamostat).

We will shortly be starting our first trial with the medicine camostat in a community-based study of 500 people. It will be given to symptomatic patients with COVID-19 who do not require admission to hospital and are being looked after at home. These symptomatic COVID-19 positive patients may be treated for up to 14 days with oral Camostat. Our primary objective will be to discover whether treatment with the serine protease inhibitors is able to prevent clinical progression of the infection, reduce the need for hospital admission, and speed up recovery.


Easy administration: Tablets currently dosed at 600 mg/day for patients with chronic pancreatitis.

Tolerable safety: 1.3 – 1.8% of patients have adverse reactions such as: rash (0.4%), nausea (0.3%), raised liver enzymes. No fatalities.


​Dosage: Currently dosed at 50 mg/day for patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

Safety: 6.92% of patients dosed at 50 mg/day experience adverse side effects such as: hyperkalemia (5.14%), hepatic abnormality and jaundice (1.47%), and hypersensitivity (0.31%). No fatalities.


Our Team

Dr. Bobojon Nazarov

Founder, CEO of Latus Therapeutics D.Phil. (Pharmacology, Chemical System Biology), EPSRC Scholar, MBA, Oxford Pershing Square Scholar

Prof. Daniel Anthony Scientific Lead

Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford & Somerville College

Dr. Colin Ferrett
Trial Co-ordinator

Consultant Radiologist at Oxford University Hospital

Prof. Graham Richards
Scientific Adviser

Chairman of Oxford Drug Design
Founder of Oxford University Innovation, Ex-Head of Chemistry Department, University of Oxford

Dr. Suzie Anthony
Clinical Advisor

Honorary Senior Clinical Lecture in Radiology, Oxford University Hospital

Dr. Emma Ladds Clinical Advisor

Academic Clinical Fellow, Primary Care, Oxford University


The University of Edinburgh and Cancer Research UK to conduct a trial to test use of potential virus-blocking treatment in improving COVID-19 outcomes Research title SPIKE-1 Trial; A Randomised Phase II/III trial in a community setting, assessing use of camostat in reducing the clinical progression of […]
Cancer Research UK and its partners have today launched a clinical trial to test if a drug that’s used to treat inflammation of the pancreas can help people with COVID-19. Photo by H Shaw on Unsplash
Latus Therapeutics is leading a joint research team of scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh. The trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness for the treatment of COVID-19 of Nafamostat Mesilate (brand name: Futhan), an existing medicine for other indications in Japan. […]