UNI91103, developed by UNION therapeutics A/S, selected as first agent for prophylactic COVID-19 "PROTECT-V" study in high-risk patients
HELLERUP, Denmark, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- UNION therapeutics A/S (UNION) has been selected by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge to trial UNI91103 (intranasal niclosamide) as a prophylactic treatment of COVID-19 in kidney patients, a vulnerable and high-risk patient population.
UNION has recently announced the expansion of its clinical program for COVID-19 with a niclosamide based nasal spray (UNI91103) to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection among people at risk. Kidney patients, in particular those on dialysis, are considered a particularly vulnerable patient population.
Studies have documented that SARS-CoV-2 replicates most rapidly in the nasal epithelial cells and suggest that initial replication of the virus in the nasal cavity then leads to infection of the lungs2. When administered to the nasal cavity prior to exposure to SARS-CoV-2, UNI91103 would prevent the virus from establishing in the nasal cavity and spreading to the lungs.
"For high-risk patient groups such as dialysis patients, patients who have had a kidney transplant, and patients with auto-immune diseases requiring immunosuppressive medications, COVID-19 can be very serious. In fact, one in five kidney patients receiving dialysis in hospital or who have a kidney transplant, who tested positive for the virus, died within four weeks," explains Professor Morten Sommer3.
The fastest route to benefit patients
LifeArc has made £27m available to support the global effort against COVID-19, of which £10m has been given to repurpose existing medicines.
"Repurposing already available drugs or those in the late stage of development offers the fastest route to bring benefit to patients at this critical time," says LifeArc CEO, Melanie Lee.
A promising option
"The vaccine is a huge step forwards, but we know that the patients enrolled in this study may make less robust vaccine responses due to their underlying condition or treatment. Niclosamide may provide further protection against COVID-19 that doesn't rely on the immune system mounting a response," Dr Smith adds.
A persistent need for treatment and prevention
UNION therapeutics A/S is a privately held, clinical stage, pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel treatments for inflammatory and infectious diseases. The Company is working on two complementary chemistry classes across immunology and microbiology and has multiple candidates in clinical development. UNION is headquartered in Hellerup (Denmark) and managed by an experienced, international team of pharmaceutical executives and biotech entrepreneurs. For more information please visit www.uniontherapeutics.com
UNI91103 is a niclosamide based nasal spray in development for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, has been found to replicate most rapidly in nasal epithelial cells, and the sinonasal tract is thought to be an important site for infection as well as transmission. Niclosamide has been identified as a potent inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 and has been demonstrated to prevent fatal outcomes in a murine challenge model of COVID-19 when administered intranasally. UNI91103 nasal spray is in development as a stand-alone product as well as in combination with UNION therapeutics' inhalation treatment product (UNI91104).
About Kidney Research UK
As the largest kidney research charity in the UK, nothing is going to stop us in our urgent mission to end kidney disease. We're here to be heard, to make a difference, to change the future. This is a disease that destroys lives. It must be stopped.
LifeArc is a self-funded medical research charity. Our mission is to advance translation of early science into health care treatments or diagnostics that can be taken through to full development and made available to patients. We have been doing this for more than 25 years and our work has resulted in a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance and four licensed medicines.
About Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT)
Registered charity number: 1170103
About NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre
Based within the most outstanding NHS and University partnerships in the country, the Biomedical Research Centres are leaders in scientific translation. Located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, they receive substantial levels of funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to translate fundamental biomedical research into clinical research that benefits patients and they are early adopters of new treatments.
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SOURCE UNION therapeutics