1 April 2020
Noxopharm (NOX:ASX) announces that the Hudson Institute of Medical Research (Hudson Institute) in Melbourne has identified that idronoxil inhibits a key inflammatory pathway involved in a process known as a cytokine storm. Cytokine storm is associated with an abnormally excessive inflammatory response and is believed to be responsible for most deaths in patients with COVID-19 infection (1).
In light of this important finding, Noxopharm now proposes to evaluate idronoxil use in patients at risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multi-organ failure associated with COVID-19 infection. Noxopharm will be seeking non-dilutive support both in Australia and overseas for the clinical study.
Noxopharm and the Hudson Institute have been collaborating for the past 12 months in looking to gain a better understanding of the actions of idronoxil on the innate immune system. For Noxopharm, this is important in helping to explain clinical benefits observed in patients with late-stage prostate cancer that are believed to have an immuno-oncology basis.
Using pre-clinical models, the Hudson Institute discovered that idronoxil suppresses the production of molecules known as cytokines that are responsible for triggering inflammation, with the inhibitory action of idronoxil on some of these cytokines reaching potent levels. The mechanism of action and the suite of cytokines inhibited has certain novel aspects and immediately was recognised by both parties as potentially important in the treatment of cytokine storm as it applies to septic shock. Septic shock is the overwhelming inflammatory process associated with viral and bacterial infections in some patients, a condition which remains essentially untreatable and accounts for a significant number of deaths across the world.
These findings are the subject of a provisional patent application lodged by Noxopharm this week with the Australian Patent Office and directed to the use of idronoxil for early-stage organ damage associated with inflammation caused by viral or bacterial infection in order to limit organ damage and prevent sepsis and ARDS. The Inventors are named as Graham Kelly, Olivier Laczka and Michael Gantier. It also is proposed to publish the data in the scientific literature as soon as possible.
Noxopharm and the Hudson Institute now propose to build on this discovery with the aim of developing an idronoxil derivative as an effective therapy for the treatment of septic shock generally.
In the meantime, and given the emerging global emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic, Noxopharm has decided to make idronoxil available for immediate clinical use as a potential cytokine storm inhibitor.
Read further comments in the full media release here.