Cantex collaborates with Harvard's Wyss Institute

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

February 28, 2022 -- Cantex Pharmaceuticals has secured a global license from Harvard University's Office of Technology Development to further develop its oral, small-molecule inhibitor, azeliragon, into a treatment for inflammatory lung diseases including COVID-19. This new global license from Harvard bolsters Cantex's existing robust azeliragon composition of matter patent and other intellectual property portfolios covering azeliragon.

Azeliragon significantly blocks the production of inflammation-causing cytokines including IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10 as well as Regulated upon activation, normal t cell expressed and presumably secreted (RANTES), a key proinflammatory cytokine produced by virus-infected lung cells, following viral infection. Cantex plans to conduct a phase II clinical trial to test azeliragon in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19, as well as phase II trials in other pulmonary inflammatory diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), steroid refractory asthma, and sarcoidosis.

The drug has previously been tested for Alzheimer's disease and diabetic nephropathy, where it showed high levels of safety in phase III clinical trials involving over 2,000 patients.

Cantex also plans to initiate phase II clinical trials exploring the therapeutic effect of azeliragon in pancreatic and breast cancers, where receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) has been implicated in disease progression as well as in complications of treatment.

Cantex Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

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