Candidate: AS1411

Type: DNA aptamer designed to target and bind with nucleolin, a human protein utilized by some viruses to enter a cell.

Status: Qualigen said June 10 it signed an exclusive agreement of undisclosed value to license AS1411 from the University of Louisville (UofL) and facilitate the drug’s development as a candidate to treat COVID-19. Qualigen has held an exclusive license to AS1411 for all fields of use since 2018. The new agreement provides a license under UofL’s pending U.S.  patent for the use of AS1411 for inhibiting or treating COVID-19, Qualigen said. Qualigen also agreed to to investigate the potential use of AS1411 as a broader spectrum antiviral therapeutic.

Qualigen agreed to pay UofL royalties in the low-to-mid-single-digit percentages on sales of AS1411 anti-COVID-19 products using UofL’s technology or patents. The company also agreed to enter into a sponsored research agreement with UofL for further in vitro and preclinical animal studies with AS1411 as a drug candidate against COVID-19.

Qualigen has cited proof-of-concept in vitro studies recently performed at UofL, which demonstrate that by binding to nucleolin, AS1411 may protect cells from the damaging effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection. AS1411 has been administered to more than 100 human cancer patients, and was well tolerated with no evidence of severe side effects.

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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