Bold Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company working on the development of oncology therapies, with its lead candidate being BOLD-100, an anti-resistance ruthenium-based small-molecule drug.
The company suggests that BOLD-100, which has just demonstrated positive results as a treatment for advanced gastrointestinal cancers in Phase I clinical trials, shows potential utility as a novel antiviral agent.
Therefore, Bold intends to examine the drug as a potential treatment for coronavirus, and join the pharmaceutical industry in the race to develop effective treatments to tackle the ongoing pandemic.
The company suggests that it holds ‘ample’ quantity of current good manufacturing practice clinical product available, as well as an open investigational new drug (IND) application in the US and Canada, respectively, allowing for potentially rapid clinical development.
However, Bold states that its clinical and scientific capability has been built to address drug resistance in cancer, and not interventions for COVID-19.
Amid the ongoing pandemic, the developer announced that it is ‘urgently’ seeking expressions of interest from collaborators who have the capability and resources to enable rapid advancement of BOLD-100 as a treatment of COVID-19.
Bold’s suggestions of the drug’s potential effectiveness are based on the candidate’s main mechanism of action, which is to inhibit stress-induced upregulation of GRP78 protein.
According to the company, GRP78 is a common receptor for viral recognition of host cells, while a recent publication identified the protein as a potential binding site for COVID-19.
Moreover, other published literature has suggested that inhibiting or blocking GPR78 can reduce viral loads or viral replication in Ebola, Japanese Encephalitis Virus and Dengue Virus.