Tetra Bio-Pharma (TSE:TBP) (OTCQB:TBPMF) (FRA:JAM1) has signed a research collaboration agreement with Targeted Pharmaceutical Inc and the George Mason University National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID), the company announced Thursday.
The research collaboration will evaluate the company’s drug ARDS-003, with and without antiviral drugs, to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in animals. Leading the effort is Lance Liotta, the chief medical officer of Targeted Therapeutics and a professor at George Mason.
Tetra owns a 20% minority stake in Targeted Pharmaceutical, which it announced last quarter.
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"We have initiated this research agreement to generate new intellectual property and work closer with key researchers in the USA who are investigating therapeutic agents for treatment of patients who are severely ill from COVID-19,” Tetra CEO Guy Chamberland said in a statement. “Teaming up with Targeted Pharmaceutical opened the door to a collaboration with a prestigious USA research laboratory at the George Mason University.”
Tetra has previously studied the effects of ARDS-003 in an animal model of a lung injury known as induced pulmonary fibrosis. The drug was able to reduce the levels of key inflammatory cytokine markers.
“Having the ability to study investigational new drugs in animals who are infected with the COVID-19 virus is a major opportunity for us,” Chamberland said. “The research team will gain tremendous knowledge on the role a cytokine release modulating drug plays in COVID-19 infections. This type of animal research was used to study potential drug candidates for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and most recently the REGN-COV2 antibody in SARS-CoV-2 infected animals."
The Ottawa-based company said it is not making any implied claims that its product has the ability to eliminate, cure and/or contain the COVID-19 at this time.
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