AB Science, University of Chicago to research COVID-19 treatments

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

April 6, 2021 -- AB Science has inked an exclusive licensing deal with the University of Chicago to conduct research for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and other coronaviruses, nidoviruses, and picornaviruses.

The French company will supply masitinib and more than 130 of its proprietary drugs that have demonstrated activity against 3CL-Pro -- the main protease necessary for the SARS-CoV-2 viral replication cycle. Using its proprietary research platform, the university will enhance the preclinical program of masitinib against SARS-CoV-2, as well as investigate the use of masitinib against other viruses that are dependent on the 3CL-Pro protease for replication, AB Science said. In addition, the institution will test and identify analogs of masitinib that are active against 3CL-Pro.

AB Science and the University of Chicago will also merge their patent rights related to masitinib or masitinib analogs related to virology applications. If any products are discovered using AB Science products and then commercialized, AB Science will pay the university 1% of net sales for the first registered product and 0.3% of net sales for other registered products.

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