COVID-19 Project Initiated
Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc
(“Hemogenyx” or the “Company”)
COVID-19 Project Initiated
Hemogenyx to use its advanced humanized mice to develop potential treatments for COVID-19
Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc (LSE: HEMO), the biopharmaceutical group developing new therapies and treatments for deadly blood diseases, is deploying its groundbreaking research and technologies to develop treatments for COVID-19.
Using its humanized mice, the Advanced peripheral blood Hematopoietic Chimera (“ApbHC”), which were developed to model blood and autoimmune diseases and to test treatments, Hemogenyx will seek to discover human neutralizing antibodies – antibodies that are typically developed by the human immune system to neutralize invading viral pathogens – that could be used to fight SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infections.
Prior to the appearance of COVID-19, Hemogenyx had been working independently and with a number of pharmaceutical company partners to utilize the exceptional features of ApbHC to identify and isolate human neutralizing antibodies for use as antiviral therapies. The Company’s methodology is generally applicable to new pathogens including viruses, as previously described in the Company’s original announcement of the development of ApbHC.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the Company concluded that it would potentially be applicable to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As part of its studies, Hemogenyx will transplant cells from blood samples from patients who are either recovering or have already recovered from COVID-19 into its ApbHC humanized mice. The process will allow the Company’s scientists to recreate a set of anti-SARS-CoV-2 virus antibodies which could be used for the treatment of COVID-19.
In addition, the study will aim to demonstrate how Hemogenyx’s technology can be deployed rapidly in emergencies in order to discover human neutralizing antibodies against a host of viral pathogens, including what infectious disease experts in the bioprotection and biodefense sectors call “Disease X”, meaning as-yet unknown viruses that may represent a similar or greater threat than the one presented by COVID-19.
Concurrently, Hemogenyx has initiated a pilot study to understand why some individuals who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic, some exhibit mild symptoms, and some become very sick and even die. Such understanding could prove essential for both the development of new treatments for COVID-19 and managing the current risk of infection. Should the study prove to be successful, Hemogenyx will aim to develop and commercialize a test that would prospectively identify people with potentially high/low risk of severe illness caused by the virus.
This development is an application of the Company’s existing work, taking place alongside its long-term development of new treatments for blood and autoimmune diseases, which remain on track.
Dr Vladislav Sandler, Hemogenyx’s Chief Executive Officer commented: “Although Hemogenyx has not traditionally been focused on fighting infectious diseases, we have always been focused on saving lives. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are determined to use our proprietary technology, expertise and resources to save lives and alleviate suffering. We are hopeful that our humanized mice will be an indispensable tool for rapidly managing future outbreaks of viral infections.”
Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure
Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.
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About Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc
Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc (“Hemogenyx”) is a publicly traded company (LSE: HEMO) headquartered in London, with its wholly-owned US operating subsidiaries, Hemogenyx LLC and Immugenyx LLC, located at its state-of-the-art research facility in New York City and a wholly-owned Belgian operating subsidiary, Hemogenyx-Cell SPRL, located in Liège.
Hemogenyx is a pre-clinical stage biopharmaceutical group developing new medicines and treatments to treat blood and autoimmune disease and to bring the curative power of bone marrow transplantation to a greater number of patients suffering from otherwise incurable life-threatening diseases. Hemogenyx is developing several distinct and complementary product candidates, as well as a platform technology that it uses as an engine for novel product development.
For more than 50 years, bone marrow transplantation has been used to save the lives of patients suffering from blood diseases. The risks of toxicity and death that are associated with bone marrow transplantation, however, have meant that the procedure is restricted to use only as a last resort. Hemogenyx’s technology has the potential to enable many more patients suffering from devastating blood diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, as well as severe autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, aplastic anemia and systemic lupus erythematosus (Lupus), to benefit from bone marrow transplantation.