Candidate: Peptide biomimetic

Type: Optimized, in-silico peptide designed to achieve high binding rates of peptide to the receptor-binding domain of SARS-Cov-2 spike protein at the nanomolar level with demonstrated negligible toxicity, through combined computational and experimental efforts.

Status: Hoth said August 10 it licensed from George Washington University intellectual property rights related to the development of a medical device that could allow public health professionals to immediately diagnose COVID-19 infection via breath sample and track through a mobile device. The device is based on nanotechnology Nanoholes using Plasmonics principles. The device’s surface is covered in a thin sheet of gold that can bind with other molecules, such as those of a gas. Once binding occurs, the wavelength of light bouncing off the surface changes, creating a different color of light.

Mona E. Zaghloul, PhD, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and her former doctoral student Yangyang Zhao, developed the design of the device, based on prior work of other former students, in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to detect and distinguish different species of gas.

Hoth said June 30 it signed a research agreement with Virginia Commonwealth University to develop a potential COVID-19 treatment based on an exclusive license the company has secured to the novel peptide COVID-19 therapeutic.

Michael Peters, PhD, of VCU will oversee research toward developing and optimizing peptide biomimetics against COVID-19. According to Hoth and VCU, point mutations will be conducted in-silico in order to seek to improve the stability and binding properties of these decoy peptides. These optimized, in-silico peptides will be synthesized and experimentally characterized through structure determination, binding to the spike protein, and finally cell challenge assays with SARS-CoV-2.

Peters uses supercomputers as part of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) Consortium through the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), a virtual system designed to enable researchers to interactively share computing resources. The consortium is a private-public partnership that includes the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and major tech corporations.

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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