Anixa Biosciences, OntoChem ink pact to proceed to next stage of development of potential anti-viral therapy for Covid-19

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Anixa Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the treatment and prevention of cancer and infectious diseases, announced that based on Proof of Concept (POC) animal study results, it will progress to the next stage of development of its potential anti-viral therapy for Covid-19.

Anixa and OntoChem are seeking to develop an orally administrable, room-temperature stable, anti-viral therapy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The partners have recently completed POC studies in a Syrian Hamster model of the Covid-19 disease. Two potential compounds were evaluated as well as remdesivir. Data showed that administration of the drugs to infected hamsters did not cause any noticeable adverse effects, and monitoring of weight and general animal behavior demonstrated comparable efficacy of both Anixa compounds as well as remdesivir. Viral shedding data and autopsied lung inflammation analysis was inconclusive for all drugs tested, perhaps due to the animal model being inadequate for such data.

Dr. Amit Kumar, president and CEO of Anixa Biosciences, stated, “Based on the promising preliminary data in the animal study, we have made the decision to proceed to the next stage of drug development. We have chosen one compound around which we will perform combinatorial synthetic medicinal chemistry to evaluate whether we can increase potency and optimize pharmacokinetics. The most promising compounds will again be evaluated in both in vitro and in vivo studies.”

“We expect this next phase of development to take roughly four to five months with another decision point at that time,” said Dr. Lutz Weber, CEO of OntoChem. “We are pleased that our progress to date has been successful and we are looking forward to the next phase of development.”

Anixa is a publicly-traded biotechnology company developing a number of programmes addressing cancer and infectious disease. Anixa’s therapeutics portfolio includes a cancer immunotherapy programme which uses a novel type of CAR-T, known as chimeric endocrine receptor T-cell (CER-T) technology, and a Covid-19 therapeutics programme focused on inhibiting certain viral protein function.