Anti-viral drug discovery initiative
Oxford, UK, 23rd March 2020 - e-therapeutics plc (AIM: ETX, "e-therapeutics"), today announces:
The current Covid-19 pandemic is the greatest challenge to our society in a generation. If we do nothing, its consequences will be devastating. Not only in terms of the mortality/hospitalisation rates and the pressure on our healthcare systems associated with this, but because of the existential threat to society's infrastructure on which our wider wellbeing depends. The government's medical and scientific advisors are of the view that effective vaccines are at least a year away, new drugs perhaps much longer. The most valuable currency in the fight against this virus is time. Any effort which allows us to buy time to develop definitive treatments is critical.
There is an ethical obligation for any organisation in a position to help with this effort to come forward and make itself known. At e-therapeutics we have a technology platform that is capable of being deployed to carry out rapid in silico phenotypic screening. We have successfully leveraged this to find active compounds capable of protecting human cells in influenza. These compounds work though their impact on the networks of interacting proteins underlying the host cell processes on which the virus depends for its life cycle.
We believe that the same strategies employed in our work on influenza could be used to identify combinations of compounds with useful activity against Sars-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19. Such combinations would be an essential part of the effort to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. Importantly, these possible drug combinations would consist of currently approved and known drugs. This would reduce concerns around the possible risks of targeting host cell biology and causing unacceptable adverse effects.
We have the capability to carry out such in silico screening in a matter of weeks and indeed have already begun this process. However, in order to test the outputs in appropriate cellular systems as quickly as possible, we would require the help of established partners with relevant assays for Sars-CoV-2. We would also need help with additional experimental work (e.g. proteomic studies) that might enhance this project with additional data.
We have therefore begun business development efforts across the pharmaceutical industry to gauge interest in making such capacity available collaboratively for the greater good. We would ask that any potential partner reading this release, whether industrial, governmental or academic, that has complementary resource and expertise to make contact with us to explore ways in which we can progress.
We feel very strongly that we must make explicit the following. It is not our intention to make a frivolous press release that capitalises on a global crisis to inflate our share price artificially or to create unrealistic expectations. We are motivated solely by a recognition that we have a platform, validated by our influenza work, and other projects, that has the potential to have an impact and we feel ethically obligated to make this known.
Prospective partners can find a copy of our influenza project summary on our website at https://www.etherapeutics.co.uk/media/1237/covid-19_ndd_overview.pdf or can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information, please contact:
Ali Mortazavi, Executive Chairman
Tel: +44 (0)1993 883 125
Numis Securities Limited
Freddie Barnfield/Duncan Monteith (Nominated Adviser)
James Black (Corporate Broking)
Tel: +44 (0) 207 260 1000
Tel: +44 (0) 203 727 1000
e-therapeutics is an Oxford, UK-based company with a unique and powerful computer-based approach to drug discovery, founded on our industry-leading expertise in network biology.
We have created two proprietary, unique and productive technologies. The first is Network-driven Drug Discovery ("NDD"), which is based on cutting-edge network science, statistics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. NDD allows the more efficient discovery of new and better drugs and has been validated in multiple and diverse areas of biology.
The second is Genome Associated Interaction Networks ("GAINs"). GAINs is a revolutionary and entirely novel approach to functional genomics, based on the same validated network biology and analytics expertise that underpins our NDD technology. GAINs analyses human genetic data to provide a deep and valuable understanding of the mechanisms that cause disease. GAINs has the potential to uncover unrecognised disease processes and pathways and can enable the discovery of novel drugs, diagnostics and biomarkers in a way not previously possible from population genomics data, such as genome-wide association studies ("GWAS").
We have deployed our highly productive drug discovery platform technologies to develop our own IP-protected, preclinical drug discovery programmes that are available to partners seeking to acquire or in-license novel and differentiated assets.
We have partnerships with Novo Nordisk in Type-2 diabetes and a US-based, top 5 pharmaceutical company in neurodegeneration. We are working on different types of collaborative partnerships with biotech, pharma and other technology companies to create sustainable mutual value.