Australian clinical-stage drug development company Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) has reported preclinical data that further supports the role of experimental anti-cancer drug, idronoxil, the active ingredient in Veyonda®, as an anti-inflammatory drug for early-stage COVID-19 treatments. A recent preclinical trial, conducted in partnership with Australia’s Hudson Institute of Medical Research (Hudson Institute), has identified that idronoxil inhibits the enzyme, TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1), an action that potentially dampens the inflammatory response causing the progression of COVID-19 disease from mild-to-severe, but not compromising the body’s ability to fight the virus.
These preclinical findings support preliminary top-line positive results the company shared earlier from its NOXCOVID Phase I clinical trial, which tested the suitability of idronoxil (Veyonda) as an effective anti-inflammatory in patients hospitalized with moderate COVID-19 disease. One particular relevance of TBK1 as a drug target is its role in responding to infections from RNA viruses including the respiratory RNA viruses – coronaviruses, influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus.
Associate Professor Michael Gantier, Head of the Nucleic Acids and Innate Immunity Laboratory at Hudson Institute said: “TBK1 is a point of convergence of many inflammatory pathways, and a target under significant investigation by several big pharmaceutical companies. Our latest findings, which are being prepared for publication, demonstrate that idronoxil may have applications in a range of diseases where TBK1 facilitates aberrant inflammation. Critically, TBK1 also directly controls production of interferon-beta, a cytokine associated with long-COVID symptoms. This suggests that idronoxil may not only be useful to prevent progression of COVID-19 patients from mild to severe disease, but also may decrease the risk of long-lasting post-infectious symptoms, seen in up to half of COVID-19 patients.”
Noxopharm Limited (ASX:NOX) is an Australian clinical-stage drug development company focused on the treatment of cancer and cytokine storm (septic shock).
Veyonda® is the Company’s first pipe-line drug candidate currently in Phase 2 clinical trialling. Veyonda® has two main drug actions — a moderating effect on the ceramide/sphingosine-1-phosphate balance and inhibition of STING signalling. Activity against the former target contributes to its dual-acting oncotoxic and immunomodulatory functions designed to enhance the effectiveness and safety of standard oncology treatments, i.e., chemotherapies, radiation therapies, and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Activity against the latter target provides an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as contributing to an anti-cancer action, but also potentially blocking septic shock.
Noxopharm is running comprehensive drug discovery programs in both oncology and inflammation, and is the major shareholder of U.S. biotechnology company, Nyrada Inc (ASX:NYR), which is active in the areas of drug development for cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
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