Australian clinical-stage drug development company Noxopharm Limited (ASX:NOX) announced an international patent application aimed at protecting the use of experimental anti-cancer drug, Veyonda® (idronoxil), in blocking the development of septic shock associated with infections such as COVID-19 and influenza viruses.
Overall, septic shock is believed responsible for an estimated 10 million global deaths per year, with an estimated three million additional deaths due to the current pandemic. So-called ‘long COVID’ symptoms (e.g., long-lasting fatigue, breathing problems, headaches), along with severe organ damage (e.g., limb amputation, diabetes, kidney, and heart failure) and death are all are outcomes associated with septic shock.
Veyonda is being developed as an anti-cancer drug based on immunostimulation and anti-inflammation functions. Its anti-inflammatory action stems from blocking of a signalling pathway called STING that normally serves as a trigger for an inflammatory response to repair damaged tissue such as virally-infected lungs. In some individuals, the STING response is inappropriately excessive, pushing the individual over into septic shock. Veyonda is the first drug that blocks STING to be tested in septic shock, including in COVID-19 patients.
Graham Kelly, CEO of Noxopharm who has been interviewed by TrialSite, said, “Globally, someone dies every three seconds from septic shock, the same rate as cancer. A cost-effective treatment for septic shock doubles the commercial opportunity for Veyonda.”
Noxopharm Limited (ASX:NOX) is an Australian clinical-stage drug development company focused on the treatment of cancer and septic shock.Veyonda® is the Company’s first pipe-line drug candidate currently in Phase 2 clinical trialling. Veyonda® has two main drug actions – a moderating effect on the ceramide/sphingosine-1-phosphate balance and inhibition of STING signalling. Activity against the former target contributes to its dual-acting oncotoxic and immuno-oncology functions designed to enhance the effectiveness and safety of standard oncology treatments, i.e., chemotherapies, radiotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Activity against the latter target provides an anti-inflammatory effect, also contributing to an anti-cancer action, but also potentially blocking septic shock.