Poolbeg Pharma has been granted a patent in the United States for the treatment of hypercytokinaemia using its new influenza drug POLB 001.
The US patent covers the use of POLB 001 and related p38 MAP kinase inhibitors for the treatment of “cytokine storm”, including hypercytokinaemia that occurs because of a viral infection, cancer or autoimmune response by reducing the body’s hyperinflammatory response.
POLB 001 is a viral strain agnostic, small molecule immunomodulator being developed to address severe influenza and other acute inflammatory conditions. The treatment differs from other approaches, such as steroids, which can affect both beneficial and damaging immune responses. It is also unaffected by seasonal variants, giving it an advantage over other treatments on the market, and is a shelf-stable oral drug.
“We are expanding our IP portfolio across the globe, allowing us to continue advancing and protecting our programmes for the treatment or prevention of severe influenza and hypercytokinaemia,” said Poolbeg chief execuitve Jeremy Skillington. “Enhanced IP protection of our assets across key markets, such as the US, increases the overall value and attractiveness of these products to potential partners.”
The news comes following favourable results from Poolbeg’s human challenge trial announced last week. The trial, which was conducted at the Centre for Human Drug Research in the Netherlands, included 36 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55. It used a bacterial product that mimics infection and can capture the hallmarks of both local and systemic inflammation typical of a cytokine storm in humans in a safe, controlled and quantifiable manner.