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PharmaAust Limited (ASX:PAA) - Executive Chairman, Dr Roger Aston - The Market Herald
Executive Chairman, Dr Roger Aston
Source: PharmaAustr
  • Clinical-stage oncology PharmAust (PAA) has signed an agreement with Leiden University Medical (LUMC) for its monepantel drugs testing against COVID-19
  • LUMC will test the effects of monepantel and monepantel sulfone on the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cell lines
  • Under the agreement, PharmAust will pay a fee to LUMC and will own all intellectual property results generated from the study
  • The study will be overseen by Dr Martijn van Hemert, Principal Investigator of Anti-viral Drug Development
  • The final data report is expected in December 2020
  • PharmAust is trading flat at 12.5 cents

PharmAust (PAA) has advanced its monepantel drugs testing against COVID-19, in the race to find a vaccine for the virus.

The company has entered into a service agreement with Leiden University Medical (LUMC) in the Netherlands.

Under the agreement, LUMC will test the effects of monepantel and monepantel sulfone on the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cell lines.

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

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the newly discovered SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Many vaccines and anti-viral medications are under development around the globe but a cure and remedies remain undiscovered to date.

Drug development in this field first starts with a simple in vitro cell line-based tests and then progresses to, for example, more complicated ex-vivo human organoid lung tissue testing before being considered for clinical trials.

"Human lung organoids can be generated directly from ex-vivo human tissue or constructed from stem cell cultures in complicated, labour-intensive and specialised experiments," the company announced.

Organoids, compared to two-dimensional structure, closely recapitulate the natural tissue's three-dimensional structure. They provide a better functional, physiological and pathological relevance when evaluating potential antiviral drugs against the coronavirus.

The cell work in this trial is transitional to that was previously conducted by PharmAust, providing evidence to directly determine the applicability of monepantel testing in organoid work as a next step.

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

This work will be overseen by molecular virologist Professor Martijn van Hemert. Martijn is the Principal Investigator of Antiviral Drug Development at LUMC and has been studying viruses like COVID-19 for over 15 years.

PharmAust is trading flat at 12.5 cents at 10:57 am AEST.


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