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  • PharmAust (PAA) has found antiviral activity while investigating the ability of two of its lead candidates, monepantel (MPL) and monepantel sulfone (MPLS), to prevent and treat COVID-19
  • Two independent laboratories previously demonstrated MPL’s antiviral activity in both primate and non-primate cell cultures
  • Data from extensive testing at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), examining the effects of MPL and MPLS in specialised COVID-19 non-human primate systems, has again indicated their antiviral activity
  • PharmAust and LUMC will now progress the antiviral development program to testing in human cells
  • PharmAust is up 7.14 per cent, trading at 10.5 cents

PharmAust (PAA) has found antiviral activity while investigating the ability of two of its lead candidates to prevent and treat COVID-19.

The candidates, monepantel (MPL) and monepantel sulfone (MPLS), are a potent and safe inhibitor of a pathway that has key influences in cancer growth, neurodegenerative diseases and viral infections. MPL has been proven to be well-tolerated in humans, demonstrating evidence of anticancer activity.

Two independent laboratories previously demonstrated MPL’s antiviral activity in both primate and non-primate cell cultures. Data from extensive testing at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), examining the effects of MPL and MPLS in specialised COVID-19 non-human primate systems, has again indicated their antiviral activity.

Despite the company stating the solubility issues of MPL in the in-vitro systems remains challenging, PharmAust has resolved the issue for administration to patients by developing the MPL tablet dosage form.

Using the tablets, MPL is quickly and efficiently converted into MPLS in the body, which represents the dominant form in the plasma.

“Testing highly insoluble drugs such as MPL in established complex culture conditions is notoriously difficult,” said PharmAust’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Richard Mollard

“There are indications for an antiviral effect in these assays, but solubility issues under the conditions required for cell-based screening complicate analysis,” agreed Associate Professor Martijn van Hemert, principal investigator at LUMC.

“Additional experiments will now be performed on SARS-CoV-2 infected human lung cell lines.”

PharmAust and LUMC will now progress the antiviral development program to testing in human cells.

PharmAust is up 7.14 per cent, trading at 10.5 cents at 12:15 pm AEST.

PAA by the numbers
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