SAN DIEGO, March 31, 2020 – Primmune Therapeutics announced today that it has selected PRTX007 as its lead clinical development candidate for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and for oncology indications.
“PRTX007 is an oral small molecule that specifically activates toll-like receptor 7 (“TLR7”) which drives the innate immune system’s primary response to viral infections,” said James Appleman, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Primmune Therapeutics. “PRTX007 was derived from Primmune’s extensive TLR7 agonist discovery program and has demonstrated sustained dose-dependent innate immune induction in vivo without the production of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 or TNF alpha. We believe these features are optimal for acute and long-term therapy.”
“Based on PRTX007’s properties and building upon our understanding of early-generation TLR7 agonists studied by others in human viral disease trials, we believe PRTX007 is amenable to scale up, long-term storage, tableting, and has the potential to be deployed as a single agent or in combination with direct antiviral compounds,” said Charlie McDermott, Chief Executive Officer at Primmune Therapeutics. “Since PRTX007 stimulates your natural antiviral innate immune response, we believe it has potential utility as a prophylaxis, first-line defense against SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-2 mutants, and future novel pathogens.”
To support these efforts, Sheldon Morris, M.D., MPH, Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine and the Division of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego has joined the company’s clinical advisory board to advise on the trial designs for SARS-CoV-2 infections.