Coronavirus / Biotech Stock News Bites: Tiziana Life Sci PLC (NASDAQ: $TLSA) Develops Treatment For COVID-19 Patients
New York/London - April 9, 2020 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Coronavirus / Biotechnology (COVID-19) Stock News Bites - Tiziana Life Sciences plc (Nasdaq: TLSA) , a biotechnology company focused on innovative therapeutics for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, announced today that it has developed investigational new technology to treat COVID-19 infections, which consists of direct delivery of anti-IL-6 receptor (anti-IL-6R) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) into the lungs using a handheld inhaler or nebulizer. Development of this novel technology is a step forward toward expediting development of TZLS-501, a fully-human anti-interleukin-6 receptor (anti-IL6R) monoclonal antibody (mAb) for treatment of patients infected with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) coronavirus. The Company believes the technology could also be applicable for use with other FDA approved mAbs and drugs. The Company has submitted a provisional patent application for the delivery technology.
"Direct delivery of anti-IL-6R mAb to the lungs using a portable handheld inhaler or nebulizer is a rapid and immediate therapy for children and adults infected with COVID-19. Importantly, this treatment with our fully human anti-IL-6R mAb (TZLS-501) has the potential to be a long-term therapy to halt progression and reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19, as a portion of the population may not opt to utilize a vaccine," said Gabriele Cerrone, Chairman of Tiziana Lifesciences.
Patients infected with COVID-19 are known to develop an uncontrolled immune response ("cytokine storm"), which results in excessisive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other proteins such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF), which in turn causes severe damage to lung tissue resulting in respiratory failure and eventually death. Among these cytokines, IL-6 seems to be one of the major culprits underlying coronavirus-mediated respiratory failure. Early clinical studies conducted by doctors in China suggest that anti-IL6R mAbs may be used in clinical practice for treatment of COVID-19. Consequently, China'sNational Health Commission has recommended the use of Roche's blockbuster drug, Actemra® and Sanofi's Kevzera® for treatment of patients infected with COVID-19.
Excessive production of IL-6 is regarded as a key driver of chronic inflammation and is believed to be associated with the severe lung damage commonly observed with COVID-19 infections and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Tiziana believes TZLS-501 (anti-IL6R) combined with this newly introduced inhalation technology may rapidly inhibit inflammation in lungs and in combination with intravenous administration may deplete circulating levels of IL-6 and potentially halt progression of COVID-19-mediated lung damage and death.
"The filing of this comprehensive provisional patent application covering treatment with our anti-IL-6R mAb, as well as prophylactic intervention with a vaccine candidate, designed from Spike (S) protein of COVID-19, is an important step in finding a solution to the current pandemic. We look forward to providing updates on the development of this product candidate and its introduction into clinical trials in a real-world setting," said Dr. Kunwar Shailubhai, CEO & CSO of Tiziana Life Sciences.
TZLS-501, a fully human mAb, was acquired from Novimmune, a Swiss biotechnology company, in 2017. The cytokine, IL-6, a major determinant in the priming of pathogenic T cells to produce an inflammatory response, binds to its receptor subunit IL-6Rα on the cell membrane. The receptor IL-6Rα can be shed as a soluble sIL6Rα, which binds to circulating IL-6 cytokine in the blood. The downstream signaling from which sIL-6R is implicated mediates pro-inflammatory effect underlying the inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The Company believes that the novel features of TZLS-501 consisting of its dual mechanism of action to inhibit signaling by the membrane-bound and soluble IL-6 receptor and the rapid depletion of circulating IL-6 cytokines, which is the major cause of lung damage, provides this mAb with distinct advantages for treatment of COVD-19. The Company licensed TZLS-501 from Novimmune, a Swiss biotechnology company, in 2017.
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