Alderley Park, Cheshire – Infex Therapeutics is pressing ahead with a major development of its pandemic resilience strategy by today announcing an agreement with CRUK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit. This will in-licence a novel therapy designed to treat SARS-CoV-2 along with future variants and a broad spectrum of coronaviruses.
The program, PAN-X, is an early stage drug that has shown encouraging activity during in-vitro testing.
It has been developed by a team led by Professor Mike Waring, Professor Steve Wedge and Professor Martin Noble at CRUK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit at Newcastle University. Their previous achievements include key roles in discovering pioneering lung cancer drugs.
Dr Peter Jackson, executive director of Infex Therapeutics, said: “This is a key program for us in terms of developing our pipeline of therapies to tackle infectious diseases and builds upon the work we are already doing that is focused on pandemic resilience. There is a lot of interest in finding drugs that can be used as both as a treatment for infected patients, helping avoid or reduce hospitalisation, as well as a preventive therapy.
“In our view, PAN-X has the potential to be a first line of defence, buying time to allow a bespoke vaccine to be produced and greatly reducing health risks if administered as a precautionary measure to vulnerable groups including the elderly, immunocompromised people, and healthcare workers risks. Our team is well placed to build on the world class science being produced by the CRUK Newcastle team and we are excited to take PAN-X forward.”
Professor Mike Waring, CRUK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit at Newcastle University, said: “We are delighted that Infex have been able to take on this opportunity that has the potential to translate our initial discoveries into a treatment that could be used for COVID-19 and future coronavirus threats. We look forward to the future collaboration with them and, most importantly, contribute to the world’s efforts to make us better able to respond to coronavirus pandemics.”
The PAN-X program is backed by the Hits-to-Leads program within iiCON, the infectious disease innovation consortium led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and supported by the Strength in Places Fund.
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