Mateon Expands its COVID-19 Therapeutic Program to include Artemisinin
In vitro data generated by the company and its collaborators supports the ability of artemisinin, an anti-malarial drug, to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 which can lead to COVID-19
Artemisinin complements OT-101 which continues to demonstrate potent activity against SARS-CoV-2 and expands the company’s intellectual property portfolio
AGOURA HILLS, Calif., April 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mateon Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB:MATN) (“Mateon”) today announced that its COVID-19 directed antiviral screening program discovered that Artemisinin is highly potent at inhibiting the ability of the COVID-19 causing virus (SARS-CoV-2) to multiply while also having an excellent safety index. Artemisinin is a natural derivative from the Asian herb Artemisia annua and has been used to treat malaria. The company plans to seek additional support to evaluate clinical proof of concept studies to show the potential of Artemisinin to treat SARS-CoV-2 virus infection and COVID-19 complications. The addition of Artemisinin provides the company with a number of candidates to address the SARS-CoV-2 virus with a combination of therapies including its leading drug candidate OT-101 and its antisense platform targeting the COVID-19 viral sequence.
Artemisinin derived from Chinese herb Artemisia annua L. (Sweet wormwood) has been used medicinally to treat fevers for centuries in China. Like other potential COVID-19 therapeutic agents such as Hydrochloroquine and Remesidivir, the efficacy of Artemisinin remains to be tested in well controlled and sufficiently powered clinical trials. However, given the known safety profile and the widespread use of Artemisinin the company anticipates that clinical development of Artemisinin can be abridged to effectively deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The availability of Artemisinin as a pre-existing dietary supplement may allow it to be deployed immediately in developing countries where the healthcare system can easily be overwhelmed. Its safety is clearly superior to chloroquine and remesidivir. The company intends to work with partners who have distribution networks in developing countries to provide a clean supply to avert a humanitarian crisis.
Dr. Vuong Trieu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mateon stated: “The discovery of Artemisinin through our fruitful collaboration with Golden Mountain Partners could be the solution for COVID-19 pandemic. This discovery is particularly important since we have the potential to advance the program rapidly because it is based on technology and product that are readily available. Like other potential COVID-19 therapeutic agents such as Hydrochloroquine and Remesidivir, the efficacy of Artemisinin remained to be tested in well controlled and sufficiently powered clinical trials but Artemisinin has many advantages against COVID-19.”