Medicines for Future
Zatloukal Innovations is one of the founding members of the Medicines for Future (M4F) Initiative aiming at making new medicines affordable and accessible to combat global diseases. The first product to be developed is a biologic drug against COVID-19.
Among the various options to block SARS-CoV-2 infections by drugs, the inhibition of the binding of the virus to its receptor on human cells is one of the most promising approaches for COVID-19 therapy. This is mainly because the emerging virus variants are characterised by increased binding to the ACE2 receptor on human cells due to natural selection. Consequently, drugs that mimic this receptor (so-called decoys) also show increased binding to the emerging virus variants, making the decoy more potent in neutralising the virus. Therefore, ACE2 decoys are among the few therapeutic options that naturally will become more efficacious in treating COVID-19 caused by new variants. The drug to be developed by M4F is based on an ACE2 decoy with a markedly increased SARS-CoV-2 neutralising activity, optimized and widely tested in pre-clinical studies performed at the Medical University Graz. The potency of the ACE2 decoy is increased significantly as compared to conventional biotechnological production by its production in glyco-engineered plants, developed by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).
In order to achieve this goal collaboration will be agreed with Cape Biologix Technologies, South Africa in context of the EU-Africa Summit on February 15th 2022.