Tiziana makes investigational new technology to treat COVID-19 infectionsApril 9, 2020
Tiziana Life Sciences said Thursday it has developed investigational new technology to treat COVID-19 infections.
Tiziana said the new tech consists of direct delivery of anti-IL-6 receptor (anti-IL-6R) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) into the lungs using a handheld inhaler or nebulizer.
Furthermore, the development of this novel technology is a step forward toward expediting development of TZLS-501, a fully-human anti-interleukin-6 receptor (anti-IL6R) monoclonal antibody (mAb) for treatment of patients infected with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) coronavirus.
Tiziana said the technology could also be applicable for use with other FDA approved mAbs and drugs. In that sense, it has submitted a provisional patent application for the delivery technology.
Gabriele Cerrone, Chairman of Tiziana Lifesciences said that the direct delivery of anti-IL-6R mAb to the lungs using a portable handheld inhaler or nebulizer is a rapid and immediate therapy for children and adults infected with COVID-19. “Importantly, this treatment with our fully human anti-IL-6R mAb (TZLS-501) has the potential to be a long-term therapy to halt progression and reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19, as a portion of the population may not opt to utilize a vaccine.”
Dr. Kunwar Shailubhai, CEO & CSO of Tiziana Life Sciences, said: “The filing of this comprehensive provisional patent application covering treatment with our anti-IL-6R mAb, as well as prophylactic intervention with a vaccine candidate, designed from Spike (S) protein of COVID-19, is an important step in finding a solution to the current pandemic. We look forward to providing updates on the development of this product candidate and its introduction into clinical trials in a real-world setting.”
Tiziana explained that patients infected with COVID-19 are known to develop an uncontrolled immune response (“cytokine storm”), which results in excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other proteins such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF), which in turn causes severe damage to lung tissue resulting in respiratory failure and eventually death. Among these cytokines, IL-6 seems to be one of the major culprits underlying coronavius-mediated respiratory failure. Early clinical studies conducted by doctors in China suggest that anti-IL6R mAbs may be used in clinical practice for treatment of COVID-19. Consequently, China’s National Health Commission has recommended the use of Roche’s blockbuster drug, Actemra and Sanofi’s Kevzera for treatment of patients infected with COVID-19, Tiziana said.
Tiziana said that excessive production of IL-6 is regarded as a key driver of chronic inflammation and is believed to be associated with the severe lung damage commonly observed with COVID-19 infections and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Tiziana believes TZLS-501 (anti-IL6R) combined with this newly introduced inhalation technology may rapidly inhibit inflammation in lungs and in combination with intravenous administration may deplete circulating levels of IL-6 and potentially halt progression of COVID-19-mediated lung damage and death.