Drug developed by St Andrews spin out company targets COVID-19

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A new anti-viral drug developed by Pneumagen, a University of St Andrews spin out company, has had positive results in laboratory tests against Covid-19.

Pneumagen Ltd, a company focused on treating infectious disease and developing cancer treatments by targeting the carbohydrate component in the cell surface announced (28th April) results from three separate lab studies into preventing coronavirus infections, including SARS-CoV-2 infection, the cause of Covid-19, using Neumifil™ Carbohydrate Binding Modules (mCBMs), generated using its proprietary GlycoTarge™ platform. mCBMs act by masking carbohydrate receptors in patients’ airway cells so preventing the entry of the virus

Working closely with Public Health England’s Porton facility, and separately the University of Glasgow’s MRC Centre for Virus Research, Pneumagen has tested the activity of its mCBMs against coronaviruses, in the lab.

At both Porton and the University of Glasgow, Pneumagen’s mCBMs were found to reduce the number of SARS-CoV-2 plaques in these assays when the mCBMs were used in both prevention and treatment of infection.

Pneumagen’s Neumifil™ is already being developed for the universal treatment of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) including Influenza Virus (IFV) and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and Pneumagen now wants to begin clinical testing for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

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