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Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Scholar Award
October 04, 2023
BOSTON & LAUSANNE, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aerium Therapeutics, a company focused on the development of antiviral therapeutics for COVID-19 and emerging viral threats, announced that it has licensed and begun development of three monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with broad and potent activity against the predominant variants of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), including those containing the F456L mutation, such as EG.5.1.
Vaccines against COVID-19 have prevented millions of illnesses and deaths, but their benefit is uncertain for the estimated 3 to 6 percent of the population who are immunocompromised and may not mount an adequate immune response to vaccination. Monoclonal antibodies can protect immunocompromised persons from severe COVID-19, however viral evolution has rendered previous mAbs ineffective, and no prophylactic or therapeutic mAbs are currently available in the U.S.
"Vaccines have been highly successful from a public health standpoint, however a huge portion of the population remains vulnerable to severe infection,” said Rajeev Venkayya, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Aerium Therapeutics. “We believe that these new mAb candidates could change this picture.”
Aerium licensed the monoclonal antibodies from three leading research institutions:
Aerium is pursuing a mAb combination strategy to defend against future viral evolution. Aerium’s lead program is AER800, a combination product comprised of AER003 and AER004 that covers nearly all of the ACE2 binding site of the RBD. Aerium is also initiating development of AER005 for potential inclusion in a future product. The mAbs have been modified to provide long-acting protection and exhibit potent and consistent activity against all previous and predominantly circulating variants.
“New broadly protective and potent mAbs are urgently needed to protect those who have been left behind in the vaccine revolution,” said Myron “Mike” Cohen, M.D., director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the UNC School of Medicine, and a member of Aerium’s Scientific Advisory Board. “The data Aerium has generated to date is inspiring and provides a ray of hope for millions of immunocompromised persons around the world.”
Aerium is continually testing its mAbs against emerging variants, and identifying new mAb candidates to address future variants, with a goal of providing lasting protection of immunocompromised persons.
The Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine