Vancouver, British Columbia / June 15, 2020 – Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Corporation (“APC” or the “Company”) (TSXV: APC) (FSE: 0E8), is pleased to announce that it’s US subsidiary, Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Inc. (“APTI”), has initiated a project to identify and generate therapeutic candidates against SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.
Due to its declaration as a pandemic in early March, the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 protease, a critical enzyme in the SARs-CoV-2 life cycle, was rapidly characterized and made publicly available. Fortuitously, APTI had pre-existing knowledge of derivatives, with improved properties, of a known compound that was a “hit” in a large published screen. APTI’s scientists’ extensive knowledge of protein chemistry, and the publicly available viral protease structure allowed them to design and screen hundreds of compounds targeting the SARS-CoV-2 protease in silico. Inhibiting this enzyme affects the ability of the virus to replicate. APTI’s scientists have further optimized compound structures built off these known derivative backbones and identified multiple compounds with predicted affinity for the SARS-CoV-2 protease exceeding that of all published candidate viral protease inhibitors known to APTI. Based on these results, APTI plans to begin synthesis of multiple candidates in-house and perform cell culture and in vivo testing in a validated SAR-CoV-2 model with an external collaborator as soon as possible. Synthesis of the candidates will begin immediately as APTI’s scientists, no longer subject to the lockdown in effect in Boston, have returned to the lab.
Dr. Benjamin Krantz, Director of APTI commented “It is widely acknowledged that beating COVID-19 will take a multi-pronged approach with both vaccines and antivirals to the extent that vaccines are unlikely to be 100% effective in preventing the disease. As with HIV, it is expected that combination therapy with antivirals targeting different steps in the viral replication process will result in better outcomes. Therefore, we have pursued discovery of inhibitors targeting the SARS-CoV-2 protease which could synergize with currently approved agents such as remdesivir and investigational agents such as neutralizing antibodies. We are extremely excited about the results of our screen to date, which has identified compounds with very high predicted affinity for the viral protease. We are moving quickly to begin synthesis with the goal of testing against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and in vivo as soon as possible.”
Paul Woodward, CEO of the Company stated “APTI was lucky enough to have existing knowledge of improved derivatives of one of only 30 hits from a multinational test of 12,000 clinical stage or FDA approved drugs for activity against SARS-CoV-2 replication. Further, they can advance this quickly and inexpensively in-house, to the point where we could see near-term monetisation. From a business and humanitarian perspective, pursuing this program is the right thing to do; and while the program does not make use of APTI’s core technology, we are excited by its prospects.”.
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Corporation, through its subsidiary, Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Inc., has invented proprietary protein conjugation technology which enables the development of superior antibody-drug conjugates through improved site-specific labeling, drug-antibody ratio control and enabling of combination payloads. The technology has compelling pre-clinical data demonstrating improved homogeneity and increased in-vivo potency relative to current state of the art linker technology. The Company believes that the technology will enable the development of safer and more potent antibody-drug conjugate therapeutics and is pursuing licensing and partnership opportunities to advance development and create shareholder value.
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