Avacta has announced that collaborative work with the Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow.
Has shown that Affimer reagents which bind to the SARS-COV-2 virus spike protein prevent infection of human cells by such a model virus and therefore provide a potential ‘neutralising’ therapy for COVID-19 infection.
This is significant considering the uncertainties around the timeline for developing and deploying an effective vaccine. It is also critical information that will help Avacta identify a suitable license deal with a pharmaceutical partner that has the resources to carry out an accelerated clinical development programme.
Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta Group, commented:
“I am delighted that our collaborators at the University of Glasgow have confirmed that these Affimer reagents not only block the spike-ACE2 binding but efficiently prevent a SARS-COV-2 model virus from entering human cells. This is critical information that will help to establish a license deal with a large pharmaceutical partner that has the resources to carry out an accelerated clinical development programme.
Neutralising therapies could be given to those exposed to the virus, such as health and social-care workers, to prevent infection, as well as to patients already infected by the virus, to help treat and prevent disease progression. T here is ongoing significant investment by large pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca, GSK, Boehringer Ingelheim and others to develop neutralising therapies for COVID-19.
We continue to make very good progress across all of our COVID-19 related programmes, as well as our other diagnostic and therapeutic activities, and I look forward to providing further updates in the very near future.”
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