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Kinarus’ KIN001 shows strong antiviral activity against BA.2 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants

The phase 2 trial of KIN001 in ambulatory COVID-19 patients is actively recruiting


Kinarus Therapeutics’ (Kinarus) COVID-19 treatment, KIN001, has shown strong antiviral activity against Omicron subvariants BA.2 and BA.5, according to new preclinical data announced by the company.

KIN001 is an orally administered combination of two drugs – pamapimod and pioglitazone – that have demonstrated synergistic antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity, as well as ability to reduce tissue fibrosis, a quality which may lower the likelihood of ‘long COVID’ symptoms.

Unlike other antivirals and monoclonal antibody therapies, which target SARS-Cov2 directly, the company says KIN001 targets human host cell pathways required for SARS-Cov2 viral replication, blocking the virus’ ability to replicate and thereby reducing potential for the emergence of escape mutants.

KIN001 is also currently being evaluated in the phase 2 KINFAST trial as a treatment for ambulatory COVID-19 patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. The primary endpoint of the study, which is actively recruiting in Switzerland and Germany, is the reduction in the severity and duration of COVID-19 symptoms.

“This research complements our previously published data and demonstrates ongoing durability of KIN001’s antiviral activity against the Omicron BA.2 and BA.5 subvariants. The BA.5 subvariant currently accounts for about one-quarter of COVID-19 cases in the US,” said Professor Ulrich Schubert from the Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, and principal investigator of the study.

In addition to BA.5, which has been the dominant subvariant of COVID-19 in the US since early July, emerging Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are being closely tracked by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are among the more than 300 sublineages of the Omicron variant circulating globally, 95% of which are direct descendants of BA.5, the World Health Organization reports.

There is currently no evidence linking the new variants with increased severity of the virus compared to BA.5, but rising cases of BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 has led regulators and vaccine manufacturers to monitor the new variants more closely in case they start to evade protection offered by current vaccines.

Alexander Bausch, chief executive officer at Kinarus, said the preclinical data suggests that KIN001 is “likely to also be effective against these variants”.

He continued: “Patients enroling in our phase 2 KINFAST study of KIN001 may benefit regardless of current or future variants which underlie their infection.”

Article by
Emily Kimber

6th December 2022

From: Research



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