Polyphor’s balixafortide demonstrates consistent dual-acting anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activity in preclinical COVID-19 trials
- Balixafortide showed a clear antiviral effect, different from remdesivir, in a 14-day laboratory test (PEC)
- Balixafortide monotherapy treatment showed a statistically significant reduction in the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in an animal study
- In this in vivo study, balixafortide reduced markers of inflammation relevant to COVID19 correlating with severe disease progression and mortality in humans
- Polyphor has entered into several non-clinical academic collaborations with leading scientific institutions and is evaluating the feasibility of a phase II clinical proof of concept study in patients with severe COVID-19 infections
- Conference call to discuss these findings and the COVID-19 treatment landscape with 3 renowned scientific experts on June 10 at 8 a.m.ET / 2 p.m. CET
ALLSCHWIL, Switzerland, June 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Polyphor AG (SIX: POLN), a research-driven, clinical-stage Swiss biopharmaceutical company committed to the discovery and development of world-leading molecules in oncology and antimicrobial resistance, today announced that its CXCR4 antagonist, balixafortide, has demonstrated dual antiviral and anti-inflammatory action in COVID-19-related research studies using clinically relevant concentrations.
Balixafortide is a potent selective CXCR4 antagonist which is currently also in phase III development in combination with eribulin in patients with HER-2 negative metastatic breast cancer. The results of this phase III trial are expected for the objective response rate (ORR) at the end of the second trimester and for progression-free survival (PFS) in the fourth trimester 2021.
In vitro experiments in collaboration with the University of Basel confirm the antiviral activity of balixafortide against SARS-CoV-2
In a preclinical experiment using a CPE (cytopathic effect test), balixafortide demonstrated strong and robust activity against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection at clinically relevant concentrations without adverse cytotoxic effects. . Further in vitro experiments revealed a clear effect in a 14-day CPE test that was different from remdesivir tested in parallel, suggesting a new and unique mechanism of action and cellular protection. The experiments were carried out as part of a research collaboration with the University of Basel, Department of Biomedicine.
In vivo experiments confirm both antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity in animal models
Based on the positive in vitro results, Polyphor has entered into academic collaborations with leading scientific institutions in the field of COVID-19 that are conducting non-clinical experiments to confirm in vivo effectiveness and understand the mechanism of action. In one in vivo A hamster animal model, balixafortide showed a positive and statistically significant reduction in the viral load of SARS COV-2. Balixafortide also reduced markers of inflammation relevant to COVID19 in the lungs, including expression of the ISG15 gene, a key player in respiratory failure in viral infections.
Based on these strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory findings, in addition to emerging evidence supporting CXCR4 as a potential target for mortality in severe COVID-19 patients by increasing activation of CXCR4 + T cells in the lungs (1), Polyphor is evaluating the feasibility of a phase II clinical proof of concept study in patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections.
Key Opinion Leaders Roundtable on COVID-19 Conference Call Thursday, June 10e at 8:00 a.m. ET / 2:00 p.m. CET
To register for the event, please click here or visit the Polyphor website at: https://www.polyphor.com/investor-relations/calendar/
The webinar will include a presentation by key thought leaders Thomas Klimkait, Ph.D. (University of Basel), Andy Shorr, MD (Georgetown University) and Eliver Ghosn, Ph.D. (Emory University) who will discuss the current landscape treatment and unmet medical needs in the treatment of patients with COVID-19; and research demonstrating the importance of the CXCR4 pathway in the inflammation and mortality associated with COVID, respectively. Drs. Klimkait, Shorr and Ghosn will be available to answer questions after the formal presentations.
The Polyphor management team will then discuss new balixafortide research findings relevant to COVID-19 infections.
(1) Neidleman et al. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.08.138826v1.full.pdf
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Polyphor is a Swiss, clinical-stage, research-driven biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of leading molecules in oncology and antimicrobial resistance by leveraging the company’s leading macrocyclic peptide technology platform. Polyphor is advancing balixafortide (POL6326) in a phase III trial in combination with eribulin in patients with advanced breast cancer and exploring its potential in other cancer indications. In addition, he discovered and developed the Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics (OMPTA). OMPTAs are potentially the first new class of antibiotics in clinical development over the past 50 years against Gram-negative bacteria. The Company’s main OMPTA program is an inhaled formulation of murepavadin for the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. Polyphor is based in Allschwil near Basel and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: POLN). For more information, please visit www.polyphor.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Polyphor’s management. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the forward-looking statements made here to differ materially from actual development, in particular Polyphor’s results, financial condition and performance. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this communication. Polyphor disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.