PharmAust drug delivers ‘remarkable’ results in COVID-19 test

19/06/2020 - 06:45

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ASX-listed PharmAust Limited has shown that the initial successful testing of its cancer fighting drug, Monepantel, against the COVID-19 virus may not have been a fluke, with new testing showing a “remarkable” 95% suppression rate in the infectivity of the SARS-CoV- 2 virus (COVID-19) in laboratory tests by both Monepantel and Monepantel sulfone. Testing was undertaken at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne.

Pictured is Dr Roger Aston

ASX-listed PharmAust Limited has shown that the initial successful testing of its cancer fighting drug, Monepantel, against the COVID-19 virus may not have been a fluke, with new testing showing a “remarkable” 95% suppression rate in the infectivity of the SARS-CoV- 2 virus (COVIOD-19) in laboratory tests by both Monepantel and Monepantel sulfone. 

The work was undertaken by leading virologist, Prof, Marc Pellegrini from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, where the testing took place.

 Professor Pellegrini said: “These are encouraging anti-viral profiles. These exciting repeat results validate the results of the initial test and form strong grounds for progressing the drug to the next step. Demonstrating twice that infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles can be suppressed by up to approximately 95% in cell cultures is a remarkable outcome. We intend to continue collaborating with PharmAust with preclinical experimentation to support their progress.”

PharmAust said both its Monepantel and Monepantel sulfone treatments were able to reduce SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19 cell-to-cell infectivity and suppress the virus.

PharmAust Chief Scientific Officer Dr Richard Mollard said ; “The reproducible nature of this work in vitro paves a propitious pathway for continued evaluation.  PharmAust is looking forward to building on these experiments with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.”

Monepantel has already been trialed in human patients with cancer with some success and the company said it will now prepare for discussions with clinicians to undertake a Phase one trial on the effects of its drugs on a small sample of human patients infected with COVID-19.

Whilst there is a lot of hype around right now about the positive effects of COVID-19 treatments such as the use of steroids, including Dexamethasone or anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, the holy grail is still a vaccine, or better still, a cure and that has been elusive to-date.

With Brazil topping 1,000,000 cases of Coronavirus, the USA still in stage-1 of its COVID-19 outbreak and China staring down the barrel of a second, possibly mutant COVID wave, the world will be keeping a close eye on this developing story.

Given that Pharmaust has managed to repeat its results more than once in the lab, its work needs to be taken seriously amongst the sea of COVID-19 hopefuls that are looking to cure or vaccinate against the virus that ripped the heart out of communities and economies around the world over the last few months.

If it can repeat these results at will going forward, it will be game on for this $41m market capped company. 

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

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