- NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals (NSB) is partnering with the Institute of Respiratory Health and the University of Western Australia to research a treatment for post-COVID fibrosis
- The disease can cause lasting damage to the lungs, even in young adults, and could potentially become one of the largest future burdens on global healthcare
- However, recent data has shown that a protein known as Metallothionein can protect lungs from injury and fibrosis
- This is where NSB comes in: its flagship candidate, EmtinB, is designed to mimic the protein in patients
- NSB and UWA's will now research the protein and its viability as a post-COVID fibrosis treatment, with data set for release in the first half of 2021
- On the market this afternoon, NSB remains steady and is trading for 34 cents per share
NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals (NSB) is teaming up with the Institute of Respiratory Health and the University of Western Australia to find a treatment for post-COVID fibrosis.
What is post-COVID fibrosis?
If surviving the COVID-19 pandemic isn't enough, the long term health implications from the virus could be problematic. Figures are showing that even young people, aged in their 20s and 30s, who survive the disease can have lasting complications.
COVID-19 patients who develop Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) may survive the illness, but unfortunately might not survive the progressive pulmonary fibrosis.
Holes in the lung, known as post-COVID fibrosis, might be created by the coronavirus causing the immune system to form blood clots, which prevent blood from getting into parts of the lungs, leading to local cell death.
Post-COVID fibrosis can cause lasting damage to the lungs and is irreversible. It can result in severe functional limitations, such as severe cough and shortness of breath. It could even lead to lung transplants.
Since December 2019, COVID-19 cases have exceeded 50 million and are still on the rise, meaning fibrosis could become one of the largest future burdens.
However, NSB, Respiratory Health and UWA are looking to find a treatment for the disease. The parties will conduct research using NSB's peptide-based compounds.
Recent data shows that Metallothionein, a natural form of EmtinB, can protect the lungs from injury and fibrosis. This data will be used for the upcoming research program.
NSB's lead candidate, EmtinB, is a lab-made molecule designed to mimic the neuroprotective effects of the protein.
NSB Chairman Brian Leedman says the pandemic is bringing huge economic, social and healthcare challenges and has warned that once the wave of infections reduce other problems will emerge.
"Given recently emerging data indicating that metallothionein (and hence EmtinB) can be extremely helpful in preventing the long-term fibrotic consequences that might follow this pandemic, we believe it becomes our duty to investigate that aspect of our experimental product," he said.
UWA's role will be researching the effectiveness EmtinB has on the cells.
Industry Engagement Manager at UWA’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Rolee Kumar, is delighted to be working with NSB on a "groundbreaking research project."
"If successful, the treatment could be commercialised providing a much-needed treatment to help minimise short-term and long-term damage to lungs from the virus," she explained.
"We hope will see positive benefits for patients who have contracted COVID-19," she added.
For the study, NSB will provide $122,000 in funding and own all intellectual property. Data from this study is expected to be available during the first half of 2021.
On the market this afternoon, NSB remains steady and is trading for 34 cents per share at 1:00 pm AEDT.