CytoAgents, Quotient Sciences to take COVID-19 drug candidate GP1681 into human trials

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US biotech company CytoAgents has joined forces with CDMO and CRO services provider Quotient Sciences to accelerate the development of its COVID-19 drug candidate GP1681 into human clinical trials for the treatment of cytokine storm.

According to the partners, scientific consensus is building that severe illness resulting from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases is triggered by a phenomenon called cytokine storm, which is an excessive immune response that attacks the body.

GP1681 has been designed as a small molecule inhibitor of cytokine release in activated human immune cells. The small molecule has been demonstrated to safely modulate the natural immune response by tamping down various cytokines.

GP1681 is said to address an unmet need for therapeutic treatment by targeting the underlying reason for life-threatening symptoms associated with cytokine storm, which can lead to more harm than the virus itself.

Teresa Whalen – CEO of CytoAgents said: “Our mission is to create a powerful, lasting solution, not just for the current crisis but for any respiratory epidemic, thereby saving lives and reducing the strain on healthcare facilities.

“Working with Quotient Sciences is a major milestone for CytoAgents in its accelerated path for a universal treatment for COVID-19-related or any respiratory epidemic.”

CytoAgents, Quotient Sciences to take COVID-19 drug candidate GP1681 into human trials

CytoAgents, Quotient Sciences to take COVID-19 drug candidate GP1681 into human trials. Image courtesy of Daniel Roberts from Pixabay.

The partnership will focus on leveraging the integrated service portfolio of Quotient Sciences to support the quick development of GP1681 for phase 1 and 2 trials in 2020. For this, CytoAgents will access the formulation and manufacturing expertise of Quotient Sciences to develop and rapidly supply drug product for clinical testing.

Parallelly, Quotient Sciences will be responsible for developing a scalable solid oral dosage form for larger patient trials and commercialization. The program will be undertaken at the company’s facility in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, which is said to have specialized drug handling and containment that is appropriate for highly potent drug candidates.

Mark Egerton – CEO of Quotient Sciences said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has caught humanity off guard, and we need to act swiftly to bring new medicines to patients around the world. We are delighted to support CytoAgents with the product development of GP1681.”

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