Cell>Point to expedite research on new drugs as potentially effective theranostic technology in fight against COVID-19

Wednesday March 25, 2020 0 comments Tags: Centennial, Cell>Point, COVID-19

CENTENNIAL -- Cell>Point announced plans to move forward with a research program to clinically develop 99mTc-EC-Amifostine and 177Lu-EC-Amifostine to assess, treat and follow-up with confirmatory imaging for people who contract COVID-19.CellPoint-logo 

For example, EC-Amifostine is metabolized by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) to a thiol analog, followed by scavenging free-radicals and stabilizing DNA in combination with a radiotherapeutic such as 177Lu-EC-Amifostine, a beta emitter that is metabolized by ALP activity and may prove to be an excellent treatment for COVID-19.

The initial focus of Cell>Point's research efforts have been with 99mTc-EC-Amifostine to differentiate the extent of tumor progression and the degree of viral infection involvement with tumor proliferation.

“We believe 99mTc-EC-Amifostine should provide imaging capability in patients who have contracted COVID-19, which can monitor therapeutic response and provide the choice for physicians to select the patient for ALP-directed therapy,” the company said.

“Because of the mode of action of the combination therapies, we believe that this treatment regimen will be an effective theranostic application for viral infection such as COVID-19.”

From data collected thus far, it's been noted that liver impairment has been reported in up to 60% of patients with SARS and has also been reported in patients infected with MERS-CoV. 

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) shares 82% genome sequence similarity to SARS-CoV and 50% genome sequence homology to MERS-CoV.  ALP levels elevate in diseases affiliated with inflammation of the gallbladder, liver cancer, hepatitis, bone cancers and SARS virus infection.

As a theranostic target, ALP on the surface membrane of neutrophil activity is useful detection for distinguishing viral infections or bacterial infections (Kubota M, et al. J Infect Chemother. 2006;12(6):387-90).

In this therapeutic regimen, ALP is responsible in transforming Amifostine to an active thiol metabolite which scavenges free radicals in the lesions to protect major organs as focus treatment is provided to the targeted areas.

Amifostine was originally developed by the Antiradiation Drug Development Program of the US Army Medical Research and Development Command as a radioprotective medicine. 

It has been shown to protect normal tissues including the esophagus, lung, kidney, liver, bone marrow, immune system, skin, colon, small bowel, salivary gland, oral mucosa, and testis against radiation damage and cytotoxic agents including alkylating and organoplatinum agents, anthracyclines, and taxane. 

It was the first biodefense drug from that program to be approved for clinical use as a free-radical scavenger in the protection of dose limiting normal tissues in patients against DNA damaging effects from reactive oxygen species.