Q BioMed Inc., and its technology partner, Mannin Research, are accelerating the rapid development of novel drugs for the treatment of life-threatening complications caused by COVID-19 and other viral infections. The drug program is being evaluated by government programs for funding and accelerated development under various COVID-19 response initiatives. The companies hope to have at least one treatment in human trials this year.
The accelerated development is the result of joint venture (JV) leveraging Mannin’s Tie2 based small molecule platform that addresses vascular leakage, and Cyclica’s AI-augmented drug discovery platform, Ligand Design and Ligand Express.
Several diseases increase the risk of vascular leakage through blood vessels, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, malaria, and viral infections. Viral infections cause damage to the cells that make up the inner wall of blood vessels, called the endothelium. This leakage allows a virus to move systemically while also increasing secondary bacterial infections. Research has shown that reducing vascular leakage helps prevent organ failure and improve acute infections. By activating the Angiopoietin-Tie2 signaling pathway it’s possible to treat the vascular leakage associated with pulmonary edema, addressing the respiratory infection caused by viruses such as COVID-19.
Mannin Research CEO Dr. George N. Nikopoulos said, “Therapeutics based on the Tie2 platform have the potential to offer clinicians an intervention to rapidly stabilize the patient’s vascular endothelium in hospital settings, such as the intensive care unit (ICU) or emergency room (ER), when pulmonary edema is diagnosed. Such an intervention could improve outcomes without waiting for a definitive diagnosis, which has been a bottleneck in the current COVID-19 pandemic in the US and around the world. By targeting Tie2, our therapeutic may also be effective in the treatment of several conditions including pulmonary edema, ARDS and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) associated with COVID-19 and the seasonal flu.”