Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO), a commercial stage biotech company, today announced that together with its technology partner, Mannin Research, they are accelerating the rapid development of novel drugs for the treatment of life-threatening complications caused by COVID-19 and other viral infections. This novel drug program is being evaluated by government programs for funding and accelerated development under various COVID-19 response initiatives. Q BioMed and Mannin hope to have at least one treatment in human trials this year.
The accelerated development is the result of a joint venture (JV) between Mannin, with its Tie2 based small molecule platform that addresses vascular leakage, and Cyclica, a Toronto, Canada based biotechnology company that has a proprietary AI-augmented drug discovery platform, Ligand Design and Ligand Express. The JV agreement will deploy Cyclica’s unique AI platform to accelerate the development of new treatments based on Mannin’s Tie2 based platform.
Several diseases increase the risk of vascular leakage through blood vessels, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, malaria, and viral infections. Viral infections do so by causing 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. Independent research has demonstrated that reducing vascular leakage helps prevent organ failure and ameliorate acute infections. By activating the Angiopoietin-Tie2 signaling pathway it is 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.”
Q BioMed CEO Denis Corin stated, “Simply put, drugs from Mannin’s Tie2 based platform help to stabilize ‘leaky vessels’ that play a critical part in organ injury, a major determinant of negative outcomes in patients affected by several infectious diseases, including influenza and the current COVID-19 pandemic. While the COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for life saving therapeutics, the Tie2 based platform addresses life threatening complications from a number of infectious diseases including inevitable future novel viral threats. We hope these treatments will be in testing in the clinic by the end of the year.” Mr. Corin continued, “We’re also excited about the potential synergy between virus directed treatments such as remdesivir and Mannin’s host-directed therapeutics. Mannin’s therapy targets the common physiological pathways that become compromised during any viral infection. Consequently, co-administering an antiviral drug with Mannin’s therapeutic is likely to have a positive synergistic effect on the infected patient. In addition, because it is not limited to acting on a specific virus, Mannin’s therapeutic wouldn’t be affected by any viral mutation that makes the virus resistant to anti-viral.”
About Tie2 and its Mechanism of Action
Viral infections can damage the cells that make up the vessels called the endothelium. This damage leads to organ failure and allows the virus to move systemically while also increasing secondary bacterial infections. Independent research has demonstrated that reducing vascular leakage helps prevent organ failure and ameliorate acute infections.
The Tie2 receptor and its ligands, Angiopoietin 1 and 2, play an intricate role in maintaining the integrity of the vascular endothelium. This balance has a significant role in several diseases, ranging from glaucoma to infectious disease. Vascular integrity is most essential in the lung, which has the highest level of expression of Tie2 and its ligands. During infection and chronic or acute inflammation, the balance between Angiopoietin 1 and 2 is compromised to favor Angiopoietin 2, which increases vascular permeability. Activating Tie2 receptor either by restoring Angiopoietin 1 levels or through therapeutic interventions targeting its negative regulator VE-PTP has been shown to restore vascular integrity and decrease inflammation by blocking migration of NF-kB to the nucleus and blocking the expression of the adhesion integrins, VCAM1 and ICAM1.
About Mannin Research
Mannin is developing therapeutics with mechanism of action involving the Angiopoietin-Tie2 signaling pathway, which is a major regulator of vascular development, vessel remodeling, postnatal angiogenesis, and vessel permeability. Therefore, targeting this pathway has very broad therapeutic applications.
Mannin’s core R&D program is based on the Angiopoeitin-Tie2 Mechanism of Action. Mannin’s small molecules and its biologic therapeutic target the endothelium of the patient, stabilizing endothelial barrier integrity by activating Tie2, which in turn reduces lung endothelial vascular leakage, inflammation and cell death that occurs during severe viral infection. This is a novel and promising therapeutic strategy as its mechanism of action is independent of viral replication, but instead focuses on endothelium of the host as the critical target for treatment intervention.
Cyclica is a Toronto, Canada based biotechnology company that is decentralizing the discovery of new medicines with its integrated structure-based and AI-augmented drug discovery platform, Ligand Design and Ligand Express. Taken together Ligand Design and Ligand Express design advanced lead-like molecules that minimize unwanted off-target effects, while providing a holistic understanding of a molecule’s activity through integrated systems biology and structural pharmacogenomics. Cyclica’s differentiated platform opens new opportunities for drug discovery, including multi-targeted and multi-objective drug design, lead optimization, ADMET-property prediction, target deconvolution, and drug repurposing for a wide range of indications.
About Q BioMed Inc.
Q BioMed Inc. is a biotech acceleration and commercial stage company focused on licensing and acquiring undervalued biomedical assets in the healthcare sector. Q BioMed is dedicated to providing these target assets the strategic resources, developmental support, and expansion capital needed to ensure they meet their developmental potential, enabling them to provide products to patients in need.
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