Candidates: Fadraciclib (CYC065) and seliciclib (CYC202 or R-roscovitine)

Type: CDK2/9 inhibitors

Status: Cyclacel and the University said April 20 they will study fadraciclib and seliciclib as potential early treatments for the inflammatory response observed in patients with COVID-19 disease. Both candidates are designed to suppress Mcl-1 in patients with proliferative diseases, while seliciclib has also been shown to efficiently suppress IL-6 transcription, a presumptive contributor to COVID-19 cytokine storm, Cyclacel said.

The study is part of the University’s STOPCOVID project studying the inflammatory pathways that lead directly to COVID-19 lung injury, drawing upon more than 30 years of experience from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Inflammation Research. STOPCOVID is supported by a £2 million (approximately $2.5 million) grant from LifeArc; the University said it is seeking further funding.

The Universiity cited published research from its own and other investigators that found that CDK inhibitors, including seliciclib, help resolve undesirable inflammation by promoting apoptosis of inflammatory neutrophils. CDK inhibitors were shown to reduce levels of Mcl-1 and inhibit transcription of interleukin-6 (IL-6), both of which are believed to be drivers of the overactive systemic inflammatory response severely damaging the lungs of symptomatic COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19: 200 Candidates and Counting

To navigate through the >200 potential therapeutic and vaccine options for COVID-19, GEN has grouped the candidates into four broad categories based on their developmental and (where applicable) clinical progress:

FRONT RUNNER – the most promising therapeutics/vaccines based on clinical progress, favorable data or both.

DEFINITELY MAYBE – earlier phases with promising partners, or more advanced candidates in development that have generated uneven data.

KEEPING AN EYE ON… – interesting technology, attracting notable partners, or both, but preliminary data.

TOO SOON TO TELL – longshots pending additional experimental and/or clinical data.

GEN has also tagged the most common treatment types:


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