MORRISTOWN, N.J., Sept. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BioAegis Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage, private company developing therapies for infectious, inflammatory and degenerative diseases through a portfolio built around gelsolin technology, announces publication of “Recombinant Human Plasma Gelsolin Improves Survival and Attenuates Lung Injury in a Murine Model of Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pneumonia.” Recombinant human plasma gelsolin (rhu-pGSN) is currently being studied in severe COVID-19 patients where lung injury is a key hallmark of severe disease.
Gelsolin Improves Survival and Reduces Lung Injury
A series of animal studies conducted in collaboration with the University of Louisville School of Medicine and The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) demonstrated rhu-pGSN improved survival and reduced lung injury when added to meropenem, an intravenous antibiotic, in severe multidrug-resistant pneumonia.
Survival Benefit Achieved by Combining Rhu-pGSN with Meropenem
Combining two sequential experiments (above), 31% of the mice receiving only meropenem survived for 7 days compared with 75% survival when mice were given rhu-pGSN in addition to meropenem. The study was published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases journal sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
According to Susan Levinson, PhD, CEO of BioAegis, “The compelling data from this NIH sponsored study show the potential of gelsolin to not only improve survival, but to diminish lung injury caused by virulent pneumonia. Having shown animal efficacy in multidrug resistant gram positive and negative pneumonia, as well as severe flu, we look forward to results of our ongoing clinical study in severe COVID-19 patients.”
According the World Health Organization (WHO), pneumonia affects approximately 450 million people globally each year, with over 4 million deaths. In the United States, 1.1 million patients with pneumonia are hospitalized each year, leading to more than 52,000 deaths. Pneumonia can lead to an overexuberant inflammatory response and cytokine storm which puts patients at risk for complications such as acute lung injury and sepsis.
Gelsolin Supplementation is Being Tested in Severe COVID-19 Patients
Gelsolin, a naturally occurring human protein that is abundant in healthy individuals, is a key component of the body’s innate immune system. It is a ‘master regulator of inflammation’. In the case of severe pneumonia, the body’s supply of gelsolin becomes depleted, which can lead to an overexuberant inflammatory response, lung injury, and death. Supplementing depleted systemic levels of gelsolin with rhu-pGSN, has enormous potential to prevent the debilitating and potentially lethal ravages of inflammation, without compromising its essential function to fight infection. Gelsolin may also have a role in protecting the lungs and may mitigate lung injury. Rhu-pGSN is currently being evaluated as an adjunctive treatment, added to standard of care, for severe COVID-19 pneumonia patients, as part of BioAegis’ Phase 2 clinical trial of rhu-pGSN. Details of the study can be found at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04358406
BioAegis Therapeutics Inc. is a NJ-based clinical stage, private company whose mission is to capitalize on a key component of the body’s innate immune system, gelsolin, to prevent adverse outcomes in diseases driven by inflammation and infection. BioAegis has the exclusive license to broad, worldwide intellectual property of gelsolin through Harvard-Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It holds over 40 patents issued for coverage of infection, inflammatory disease, renal failure, multiple sclerosis and neurologic diseases, as well as US biologics exclusivity.
This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations of management. These statements relate to, among other things, our expectations regarding management’s plans, objectives, and strategies. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. BioAegis assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements appearing in this press release in the event of changing circumstances or otherwise, and such statements are current only as of the date they are made.