EDV’s to treat viral pandemics
Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19) causes atypical pneumonia in infected people and the development of lymphopenia is an early sign of poor outcomes and eventual development of respiratory distress in priority patients, such as those who are immune-compromised, the elderly or those suffering co-morbidities. No therapeutic treatment to date is directed towards early dosing of these potentially vulnerable patients and while much focus is on vaccine development, the same at-risk patients may not respond to vaccination.
Although EnGeneIC has developed its EDV nanocell for oncology applications, patients with late-stage cancer in our clinical trials are also the same vulnerable patients. In these cancer trials, dosing with EDVs has resulted in physiological levels of Type 1 and Type II interferon stimulation, and activation and proliferation of white blood cells (WBCs) has been measured, including CD8+ T cells, macrophages, NK cells, and dendritic cells. The same proven approach has potential in vulnerable COVID-19 patients and indeed in most future viral pandemics for the target population.
Excitingly, EDVs have proven to behave as a therapeutic vaccine against COVID 19 in proof- of-concept experiments in BalbC mice, whether dosed intravenously or subcutaneously, boosting interferon levels and eliciting an antibody response against the COVID 19 spike protein. Promising results also indicate the ability to mount an immune response against mutant strains of COVID 19.
EnGeneIC now aims to commit the COVID 19 EDV to a human trial which has the potential to stimulate an early robust immune response in a population that are hitherto untreatable.
EnGeneIC is currently seeking ethics approval to carry out a safety trial in Australia with healthy volunteers aged 50 years and older to demonstrate an immune response.