ISA Pharmaceuticals has announced that it has completed pre-clinical work for ISA106, a novel COVID-19 immunotherapy and is planning clinical trials. A phase 1 dose finding study in healthy volunteers will start in the next few months.
ISA106 is an immunotherapy agent that is intended to treat patients with SARS-CoV2 infections, and prevent progressive pneumonia and further complications – thereby avoiding admission to hospital and ICU. It is designed to elicit a robust T cell immune response specifically against SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Boosting the T cell response against SARS-CoV2 in an infected individual at the right time is expected to shorten the infection period, and prevent serious disease. T cells generated by ISA106 target multiple viral proteins that include the currently known new variants.
ISA106 uses ISA’s Synthetic Long Peptide (SLP®) platform technology. The same technology is used for ISA’s lead asset ISA101b, which is currently in late-stage clinical development for the treatment of human papilloma virus type 16 (HPV16) induced cancers.
Prof. Dr. Melief, Chief Scientific Officer at ISA Pharmaceuticals, said: “Preclinical testing of ISA106 has shown clear signals of potential efficacy in humans. It is capable of inducing killer T cells in mice, and re-activates T cell responses of patients that have successfully cleared the virus. A robust T cell response is essential to remove infected cells and prevent disease progression. Strong T cell memory responses may also prevent re-infection.”
Gerben Moolhuizen, Chief Executive Officer of ISA Pharmaceuticals, said: “There is a desperate need for effective therapeutics to fight diseases that are caused by pandemic viruses like SARS-Cov2, particularly in individuals with a compromised immune system. Our promising preclinical results with ISA106 highlight the potential of anti-viral T cell therapy against SARS-CoV2, and against future pandemic viruses, to provide society with an additional line of defense and help control pandemics.”