COVAB 36 is a potent all-human monoclonal antibody for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections, which can be administered by inhalation, improving patient acceptance. It was found to neutralize all major variants known before the Omicron emergency; and tests against Omicron are currently underway.
Following the CHF 10.5 million grant from the Swiss Federal Funding Program for COVID-19 Drugs, the Swiss government has the right to acquire doses of the treatment after marketing authorization.
Inhaled monoclonal antibodies
Therapeutic antibodies are generally administered systemically, either directly intravenously, or indirectly by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.
However, inhalation could offer a promising non-invasive strategy for treating respiratory disease, as it delivers higher concentrations of antibodies to the airways.
“The support of the Swiss government to advance the clinical development of our SARS-CoV-2 antibody is an important step as we rapidly build on our excellent preclinical data”Said Karsten Fischer, CEO of Memo Therapeutics AG, headquartered in Zurich.
“We were able to confirm exceptional activity in a relevant in vivo model supporting the significant potential of COVAB 36 in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
“These new therapies will be essential tools in dealing with the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic. “
Christoph Esslinger, Scientific Director of Memo Therapeutics AG, added: “This funding represents a new external validation of our main antibody discovery platform, as we have passed a thorough review process where only projects with significant potential for clinical innovation and a high level of scientific quality have been selected.
“Now that we have completed preclinical development, we look forward to starting Phase 1 clinical studies with COVAB 36 in the first quarter of 2022.”
The project also includes the ability to develop a combined antibody partner for COVAB 36 targeted against emerging variants through an “ultra-rapid” update process based on Memo Therapeutic’s antibody discovery platform.
The platform uses “robust, simple and rapid single-cell microfluidic molecular cloning and screening technologies to enable antibody repertoire exploration and antibody discovery at unprecedented speed, efficiency and sensitivity.”