DiosCURE Announces Exclusive Worldwide License Agreement for Nanobodies Against COVID-19
Accelerated preclinical development of lead candidate DIOS-203 allows for upcoming initiation of first-in-man Phase I study
DiosCURE Therapeutics SE announced today that it has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the research and invention parties University of Bonn, University Hospital Bonn, Scripps Research and Macrostruct Holding & Consulting AB, for a broad suite of intellectual property, including the single-domain antibodies, DIOS-202, DIOS-203 and DIOS-301, currently in preclinical development as a potential differentiated, highly-efficacious therapy against SARS-CoV-2. Under the terms of the agreement, DiosCURE is the exclusive, worldwide licensor for the lead drug candidates DIOS-202, DIOS-203 and DIOS-301 and has prioritized access to all future candidates resulting from the research collaboration. DIOS-202, DIOS-203 and DIOS-301 are multivalent single-chain antibodies with unique molecular modes-of-action to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virions.
“A significant population will remain at risk in this ongoing global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and with the exclusive license announced today, we will be in a strong position to provide an urgently needed treatment option for COVID-19 patients,” stated Tom Oliver Schorling, JD, Chief Executive Officer at DiosCURE. “Our potent, next generation, neutralizing nanobodies target multiple epitopes of the virus at the same time, allowing for protection from the rapid emergence of escape mutants and neutralize infection with novel variants of concern, which are threatening the first vaccination successes.”
The Company’s lead candidates, DIOS-202, DIOS-203 and DIOS-301, are synergistic combinations of single-domain antibodies derived from camelid heavy chain-only antibodies. Based on detailed structural information of the antibodies’ interaction with its viral target protein, these multivalent constructs have an up to 100-fold higher neutralizing activity due to their high avidity and by binding two different epitopes of the spike protein. The unique mechanism of action of DIOS-202, DIOS-203 and DIOS-301, irreversibly inactivates SARS-CoV-2 and therefore suppresses the emergence of escape mutants, which represents an increasing risk in the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Those new promising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were identified and further developed by an international research team led by the University of Bonn. As the IP Service Provider of the University of Bonn, PROvendis GmbH negotiated the commercialization contract with DiosCURE. The discovery and promising early preclinical data were published in an article in Science on January 12, 2021. Lead asset DIOS-203 is currently advancing through late-stage preclinical development and the Company is ramping up to initiate a Phase I dose escalation trial in healthy volunteers to assess safety and tolerability of DIOS-203 upon completion.
The lead candidates are expected to be highly efficacious, well-tolerated, cost-efficient in production and are amenable to a wide range of clinical applications. As immunotherapies, DIOS-202, DIOS-203 and DIOS-301 are suitable as prophylactic as well as treatment for infected patients to avoid severe COVID-19 disease.
Press release 28 July