24/09/2020 - 14:48

Netherlands COVID-19 researchers to test PharmAust drugs

24/09/2020 - 14:48

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ASX-listed clinical-stage oncology group, PharmAust, has taken the next significant step towards establishing whether its cancer fighting drug, Monepantel, can also inhibit COVID-19. The Perth-based company has struck an agreement with an internationally renowned biomedical research university in the Netherlands that will examine the suitability of Monepantel and Monepantel Sulfone for the all-important preclinical ex-vivo stage of testing that precedes the critical clinical trials.

ASX-listed clinical-stage oncology group, PharmAust, has taken the next significant step towards establishing whether its cancer fighting drug, Monepantel, can also inhibit COVID-19. The Perth-based company has struck an agreement with an internationally renowned biomedical research university in the Netherlands that will examine the suitability of Monepantel and Monepantel Sulfone for the all-important preclinical ex-vivo stage of testing that precedes the critical clinical trials.

With the Coronavirus pandemic running rampant across the globe, several would-be COVID-19 vaccines and anti-viral medications have been under development at a breakneck pace this year. Whilst a number of studies and trials are showing positive signs, an effective vaccine remains elusive for now.

PharmAust’s Monepantel and Monepantel Sulfone drugs are in the mix in the worldwide quest to find a remedy to combat the virus.  Under the evaluation agreement, researchers at the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands will look to determine the applicability of Monepantel and Monepantel Sulfone for the more complicated tests that involve ex-vivo human lung tissues infected with COVID-19, which would need to be undertaken before the drugs could be considered for clinical trials.

According to PharmAust, human lung tissue has greater functional, physiological and pathological relevance to an assessment of the potential of antiviral drugs to quell the Coronavirus.

PharmAust will pay LUMC a fee and retain all intellectual property results generated from the study.

The research will be overseen by molecular virologist Professor Martijn van Hemert, Principal Investigator of Antiviral Drug Development at LUMC.

LUMC’s molecular virology researchers helped characterise the emerging SARS and MERS Coronaviruses in 2003 and 2012 and COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020.

PharmAust Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Richard Mollard said: “The studies will commence shortly and LUMC aims to provide the final data report in December this year.”

Pharmaust has already demonstrated positive, anti-viral effects of Monepantel and Monepantel Sulfone on cultured cells infected with the Coronavirus as part of its in-vitro trials.

 

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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