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UNION therapeutics launches COVID-19 program in collaboration with Institut Pasteur Korea

  • Niclosamide identified as the most potent FDA approved inhibitor of SARS-Cov-2 by Institut Pasteur Korea
  • Potency of niclosamide >25x higher than chloroquine and >40x higher than remdesivir
  • UNION has extensive knowledge with niclosamide and formulation technology to be deployed in a new potential treatment of COVID-19
  • COVID-19 development program being prepared for submission to the Danish medical authorities

COPENHAGEN, Denmark: UNION therapeutics A/S (“UNION”), a privately held clinical stage pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel medicines for patients with unmet medical needs in inflammatory and infectious diseases, today announced the launch of a program to test an optimized salt form of niclosamide as a treatment of COVID-19, in collaboration with Institut Pasteur Korea.

Researchers at Institut Pasteur Korea, an infectious disease-focused research institute, have identified niclosamide as the most potent FDA approved inhibitor of SARS-Cov-2 (the virus causing COVID-19) based on in vitro studies, while also having superior potency to the leading programs in development (e.g. remdesivir by Gilead and chloroquine) by 25-40-fold*.

Dr. Wang-Shick Ryu, CEO of Institut Pasteur Korea, states: “I am glad that our experimental finding on the antiviral effect of niclosamide can be immediately translated into COVID-19 therapy. I am impressed by the fact that UNION therapeutics is moving so quickly towards clinical development. It is our hope that the novel formulation ofniclosamide could help to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.”

UNION has worked with niclosamide and the related chemical class for more than five years and is currently conducting a Phase 2b study with niclosamide in atopic dermatitis patients. In recent years, UNION has built extensive knowledge and intellectual property rights around the compound class, formulations and various methods of delivery as well as broadening the pipeline to cover additional diseases within inflammation and infection.

Professor and CSO and co-founder at UNION, Morten Sommer states: “The data from Institut Pasteur Korea confirmed the anti-viral potency of niclosamide in the context of SARS-CoV-2. Combined with our knowledge about the compound’s features, mechanism of action, and favorable safety profile, we consider it to be a promising candidate for treating COVID-19, and believe we can leverage our existing data for an accelerated development program”.

Professor Jutta Heim, Board member of UNION and member of the scientific advisory committee of GARDP, founded by WHO and DNDi, concludes: “The biotech and pharmaceutical industry needs to stand together in their response to this urgent crisis. Accordingly, I am very pleased that UNION can contribute with what I consider a unique and promising program for potential treatment of COVID-19”.

UNION is working towards a submission of the development program to the regulatory authorities.

For inquiries contact:
UNION therapeutics: Morten Boesen, +45 2381 5487 / info@uniontherapeutics.com

* Source: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.20.999730v2.full.pdf

About Institut Pasteur Korea:
Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK) is an international infectious disease-focused research institute dedicated to address global health issues with a combination of cutting-edge approaches in order to understand disease mechanisms and develop new treatments. By promoting multi-disciplinary projects, IPK is at the forefront of drug discovery and contributes to Korea’s future scientific resources through research, education and technological innovation. IPK is a private, non-profit foundation with four core missions of public interest – Research, Education, Public Health, and Translation of biomedical discoveries to improve health via technology transfer and industrial partnerships.

About UNION:
UNION therapeutics A/S is a privately held, clinical stage, pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel treatments for inflammatory and infectious diseases. The company is working of a versatile new mode-of-action chemistry platform, including well-characterized compounds as well as new chemical entities. The leadership team of UNION has successfully developed multiple approved drugs on the market. UNION is headquartered in Copenhagen (Denmark) and managed by an experienced team across Europe and USA.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by words such as committed, will, steps, may, can, portfolio, planned, advancing, look forward, expected, or similar words. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations, estimates, believed potentials and can, therefore, involve risks and uncertainties. Many of these risks and uncertainties can be difficult to predict and could be out of the control of UNION therapeutics A/S. We may not actually achieve our intended plans, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements

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