Policy & Regulation
Moleculin Forges Additional Collaboration on Drug Candidate Targeting COVID-19
29 October 2020 - - US-based pharmaceutical company Moleculin Biotech, Inc., (NASDAQ: MBRX) has entered into an agreement with the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil to further enable collaboration into its research on the anti-viral capabilities of its drug candidate WP1122, specifically for the coronavirus, the company said.

Recently the University of Campinas published independent research demonstrating that SARS-CoV-2 infection is supported by elevated glucose levels and that inhibition of glycolysis with 2-deoxy-D-glucose effectively eliminated viral load in vitro. WP1122 is a pro-drug of 2-DG.

The paper was presented in Cell Metabolism journal online after peer-review and reports the findings of a research team at the Laboratory of Immunometabolism, Department of Genetics, Evolution, Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biology, University of Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

As previously disclosed, this recently published data also further supports the findings published in the scientific journal, Nature, which reports that one of the therapeutic targets in SARS-CoV-2 is glycolysis.

This work performed by an independent research team at the Göethe-University of Frankfurt showed that targeting glycolysis with 2-DG stopped replication of SARS CoV-2 in vitro.

These results are consistent with previous research reports demonstrating the antiviral activities of 2-DG in other viruses, and with the company's own antiviral testing of WP1122.

Notwithstanding the available preclinical data, the company believes that, without the benefit of WP1122's prodrug structure, 2-DG's rapid metabolism and limited drug-like properties prevent it from being sufficiently effective in vivo and that in vivo testing of WP1122 may make its benefits more apparent.

Moleculin Biotech, Inc. is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of a broad portfolio of oncology drug candidates for the treatment of highly resistant tumors and viruses.

The company's clinical stage drugs are: Annamycin, a Next Generation Anthracycline, designed to avoid multidrug resistance mechanisms with little to no cardiotoxicity, being studied for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia, more commonly referred to as AML; WP1066, an Immune/Transcription Modulator capable of inhibiting p-STAT3 and other oncogenic transcription factors while also stimulating a natural immune response, being studied for brain tumors, pancreatic cancer and hematologic malignancies; and WP1220, an analog to WP1066, being studied for the topical treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Moleculin is also engaged in preclinical development of additional drug candidates, including additional Immune/Transcription Modulators, as well as compounds capable of Metabolism/Glycosylation Inhibition, such as WP1122.

Moleculin has the exclusive worldwide rights (subject to certain territories for which it has issued sublicenses) to all of the above technologies.