NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals drug treatment EmtinB found to significantly reduce biomarkers of severe COVID-19 and could improve prognosis.

Australian drug development company NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals (ASX:NSB) has announced its lead drug candidate EmtinB has shown promising signs in the treatment of severe COVID-19 infection.

NSB’s lead peptide drug EmtinB is a synthetic version of a human regenerative protein called metallothionein which can inhibit cell death and mediate neuroinflammation. Studies in a panel of human primary cell-based systems indicate the drug’s therapeutic potential in preventing severe responses from COVID-19 infections.

The studies undertaken by leading independent research organisations Eurofins, US and The Institute for Respiratory Health in Australia found EmtinB significantly reduced important biomarkers associated with severe COVID-19 and poor patient prognosis by more than 50%.

The news follows an announcement in July that EmtinB had passed an ocular safety and tolerance study in non-human primates by Toxikon, a US entity which provides pre-clinical safety studies and is approved by the FDA to do so.


EmtinB may prevent severe immune response in COVID-19 patients 

The positive results indicate strong therapeutic potential for the drug in preventing severe immune responses resulting from COVID-19 infections with it additionally being shown to be safe and well-tolerated across all dose concentrations.

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential in reducing the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19-infected patients.  Severely ill COVID-19 patients require simultaneous management of their oxygen levels and inflammation without compromising viral clearance.

While multiple tools are available to aid oxygenation, there is yet unmet medical need in immunomodulatory therapy that can adjust inflammatory immune responses and prevent fatal cytokine storms across COVID disease stages.

The cytokine storm is where uncontrolled levels of proinflammatory cytokines (proteins released by immune cells) cause excessive inflammation which leads to a decrease in lung function.


EmtinB   treatment targets key biomarkers associated with severe COVID-19

Among 148 clinical biomarkers tested in the studies, EmtinB   treatment was found to be effective at reducing three associated with severe COVID-19 disease, including Serum Amyloid A (SAA), Interferon-gamma-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), Eotaxin 3 (Eot3).

SAA, more commonly associated with monitoring risks of cardiovascular problems, is a biomarker for severe inflammation while IP-10 is a strong biomarker for COVID-19 disease progression and a target in preventing lung injury. The long-term effects of lung scarring known as pulmonary fibrosis after a serious Covid-19 infection remains a major concern with the condition irreversible.

Eot3 is associated with airway inflammation and commonly used to monitor asthma. During the second and third phases of severe COVID-19 increased inflammation of patient’s airways make it harder to breathe, which may result in a deterioration of their condition. Down-regulating Eot3 may improve patient outcomes.


NSB looks beyond pandemic for its promising drug

NeuroScientific’s non-executive chairman Paul Rennie has welcomed the results as lives continue to be lost to COVID-19 on a global scale. However, he said the results demonstrate EmtinB   had promising potential  in the treatment of a vast range of conditions.

“Inflammation is now a well-recognised driver of progression in many diseases and Big Pharma companies have a keen interest in this space,” Rennie said.

“These data will demonstrate the wide range of potential clinical applications of EmtinB and therefore enhance the commercial interest in this compound.”

The latest announcement will be good news to investors who are seeing promise in the company, with shares rising around 50 per cent over the past year. At the time of writing the NSB share price was up 8.62% to 32 cents.

This article was developed in collaboration with NeuroScientific biopharmaceuticals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.