Australian clinical-stage drug development company Noxopharm Limited (ASX:NOX) has formed a partnership with Hudson Institute of Medical Research and a collaboration with The Australian National University (ANU) leading to the formation of the new Australian drug development company, Pharmorage Pty Ltd.
Pharmorage starts out with the primary aim of developing a better treatment for septic shock, a major and highly underserved condition within the community.
The same drug technology platform with its anti-inflammatory actions is seen as having application to a growing number of autoimmune diseases, also in urgent need of better treatments.
Pharmorage brings together:
- the NOX proprietary drug discovery and delivery platforms
- the Hudson Institute’s world-leading expertise in the STING signalling pathway
- the ANU John Curtin School of Medical Research’s leading position in the mechanisms underlying
STING (Stimulator of Interferon Genes) signalling has emerged in recent years as playing a key role in the inflammatory process associated with viral and bacterial infections, cancer and cell damage in general.
In the process it has become an important new drug target in chronic inflammatory diseases as well as hyper-inflammatory diseases such as septic shock.
Noxopharm CEO, Graham Kelly, said drugs targeting the STING signalling pathway have become the subject of considerable M&A activity in the industry.
The NOX drug technology platform has yielded compounds with novel actions against a range of biological pathways involved in inflammation, including STING. Pharmorage sees these novel kinase-inhibitory actions as the basis for major drug development programmes in fields like septic shock and certain autoimmune diseases that have largely defied the development of safe, effective therapies.
Pharmorage is leveraging off the promise of Veyonda in blocking STING signalling, cytokine storm and septic shock in COVID-19 patients,” Mr Kelly said.
“Veyonda is showing what is possible, and Pharmorage seeks to build on that promise by developing drugs with greater focus on septic shock. Given the pre-eminence of septic shock as a cause of human death, this opportunity is too valuable and too important to ignore.
“The company shares the growing view of many experts that the SARS-CoV-2 virus will move from pandemic to endemic status, in the way of the influenza virus, resulting in many seasonal deaths due to septic shock. Finding effective treatments to prevent septic shock has always been there, but suddenly has become a major pandemic-led imperative.”
“With the ongoing aim of creating shareholder value, Pharmorage has been formed to act on this opportunity and obligation without diluting the Company’s focus of developing Veyonda as an important second generation immuno-oncology drug.”