In the January 5th edition of the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, the authors of an independent research review identified Ifenprodil as a possible repurposed drug candidate for the treatment of COVID-19, Vancouver-based Algernon told shareholders.
Ifenprodil is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist specifically targeting the NMDA-type subunit 2B and exhibits agonist activity for the sigma-1 receptor, a chaperone protein up-regulated during endoplasmic reticulum stress.
READ: Algernon Pharmaceuticals projects final data from its Ifenprodil COVID-19 trial will be available by end of February as it outlines main aims for 2021
The review looked at the sigma-1 receptor in the endoplasmic reticulum and the role it plays in allowing SARS-CoV-2 cells to replicate, naming Ifenprodil as a central nervous system drug that has a high affinity at the sigma-1 receptor.
“To date, we have mostly focused on Ifenprodil’s role as an NMDA receptor antagonist when exploring its potential as a COVID-19 therapeutic,” said Dr Mark Williams, chief science officer at Algernon Pharmaceuticals. “However, its role as a sigma-1 receptor agonist is also well established and the connection with this receptor being a key therapeutic target involving SARS-CoV-2 replication is a very promising discovery, and adds to our confidence as we wait for the final results from our COVID-19 Ifenprodil study.”
Algernon is currently wrapping up a Phase 2b/3 study of Ifenprodil in the treatment of COVID-19, with final data expected to be released before the end of February 2021.
The company cautioned shareholders that it is not making any express or implied claims that Ifenprodil has the ability to eliminate, cure or contain COVID-19 (or the SARS-2 Coronavirus) at this time.
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