Treat­ment of breath­ing dif­fi­culties with Covid-19

The Bav­arian Research Found­a­tion sup­ports a new research approach for the treat­ment of breath­ing dis­orders in Covid-19.

Treat­ment of breath­ing dif­fi­culties with Covid-19

The Bav­arian Research Found­a­tion sup­ports a new research approach for the treat­ment of breath­ing dis­orders in Covid-19.

Fund­ing of the project

With almost half a mil­lion euros, the Bav­arian Research Found­a­tion will fund a pro­ject that ISAR Bioscience will carry out together with the Insti­tute for Phar­ma­co­logy and Tox­ic­o­logy at the Tech­nical Uni­ver­sity of Munich. The aim is to develop a com­pletely new ther­apy for pul­mon­ary fibrosis, which can develop as a res­ult of severe courses of the Covid 19 dis­ease. Affected patients often com­plain of breath­ing dif­fi­culties and short­ness of breath. The symp­toms are pre­sum­ably triggered by a patho­lo­gical increase in con­nect­ive tis­sue in the lungs – a pro­cess that impairs the trans­fer of oxy­gen into the blood. Sci­ent­ists of Prof. Dr. Dr. Stefan Engelhardt’s research team and of ISAR Bioscience aim to sup­press the con­nect­ive tis­sue pro­lif­er­a­tion in the lungs with com­pletely new thera­peut­ics and thus alle­vi­ate the Covid 19-induced breath­ing difficulties.

These ther­apies are aimed at modi­fy­ing the activ­ity of cer­tain “scav­enger cells” of the immune sys­tem, the mac­ro­phages of the lung. This is done with novel molecules that spe­cific­ally inhibit the activ­ity of cer­tain RNAs in the mac­ro­phages. New tech­no­lo­gies enable the tar­geted trans­port of these molecules into the macrophages.

This col­lab­or­a­tion gave rise to rnat­ics, a phar­ma­ceut­ical spin-off com­pany, which is devel­op­ing thera­peut­ics that tar­get RNAs in mac­ro­phages that cause dis­ease. The most advanced thera­peutic is inten­ded for use in lung dis­ease and spe­cific­ally in severe forms of COVID-19.

The data col­lec­ted to date were recently sub­mit­ted to the Ger­man Fed­eral Office for Drugs and Med­ical Devices, which deemed them suf­fi­cient pre­clin­ical “proof of concept” and that encour­aged final­iz­a­tion of pre­clin­ical tox­ic­o­logy test­ing and sub­sequent ini­ti­ation of clin­ical phase 1a/b testing.

Covid 19 dis­ease can cause severe lung inflam­ma­tion, which shows up as “opa­cit­ies” in com­puter tomo­graphy images (white zones in the image).

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