New inhaled SARS-CoV-2 antibody treatment set to enter clinical trials

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:getty/jordansiemens
Pic:getty/jordansiemens

Related tags: Monoclonal antibodies, COVID-19

Memo Therapeutics AG will receive CHF 10.5m (US $11.4m) from the Swiss government to clinically develop a SARS-CoV-2 antibody against COVID-19, allowing it to start Phase 1 studies in Q1, 2022.

COVAB 36 is a potent, fully-human monoclonal antibody for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections, which can be delivered via inhalation, enhancing patient acceptance. It was found to neutralize all major variants known before the emergency of Omicron; and tests against Omicron are currently being conducted.

Following the CHF 10.5m grant from the Swiss Federal Funding Programme for COVID-19 Medicines, the Swiss Government has the right to acquire doses of the treatment following market authorisation.

Inhaled monoclonal antibodies

Therapeutic antibodies are usually administered systemically, either directly by intravenous route, or indirectly by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.

However, inhalation could offer a promising non-invasive strategy to treat respiratory maladies because it provides higher concentrations of antibody​ in the respiratory airways.

“The Swiss Government’s support in advancing clinical development of our SARS-CoV-2 antibody is an important milestone as we rapidly build upon our excellent preclinical data,”​ said Karsten Fischer, CEO of Zurich-headquartered Memo Therapeutics AG.

“We have been able to confirm outstanding activity in a relevant in vivo model supporting the significant potential of COVAB 36 in tackling SARS-CoV-2 infection.

"Such novel therapeutics will be essential tools for addressing the rapidly evolving COVID-19 global pandemic.”
 
Christoph Esslinger, Chief Scientific Officer of Memo Therapeutics AG, added: “This funding represents a further external validation of our leading antibody discovery platform, as we passed a thorough examination process where only projects with significant potential of clinical innovation and high level of scientific quality were selected.

"Now that we have completed preclinical development, we look forward to starting phase 1 clinical studies with COVAB 36 in Q1 2022.”
 
The project also includes the ability to develop a combination antibody partner for COVAB 36 targeted against emerging variants through an 'ultra-fast' update process based on Memo Therapeutic’s antibody discovery platform.

The platform uses ‘robust, simple and fast microfluidic single-cell molecular cloning and screening technologies to enable antibody repertoire mining and antibody discovery at unprecedented speed, efficiency and sensitivity’.

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