“Patients with Long COVID-19 show significantly lower scores than the normal population on processing speed, attention, and working memory. This collaboration is an important step towards understanding Long Neuro COVID-19 and the potential for interventional treatment.”- Dr. Igor Koralnik
NEW YORK (PRWEB) March 07, 2022
Antisense Therapeutics Limited [ASX: ANP | US OTC: ATHJY | FSE: AWY] has launched a study that could deliver comprehensive data about Long COVID-19 as early as mid 2022. It is the world’s first study of up to 7,000 plasma proteins in Long COVID-19 patients.
As previously announced, the Australian publicly listed biotechnology company is collaborating with Dr. Igor Koralnik on the study. A leading researcher at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Neuro COVID-19 clinic in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Koralnik has published on Long COVID-19 in peer reviewed journals. He has treated over a thousand patients with the disease, which is reported to have affected about 30% of people post COVID-19, or as many as 24 million people in the United States.
The goals of the study are to:
1. Generate new intellectual property around the potential diagnosis and treatment of neurological complications of Long COVID-19.
2. Assess whether ATL1102, an RNA inhibitor being developed by Antisense Therapeutics to treat a rare neuromuscular disease, could also treat Long COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is causing significant long-term cognitive and fatigue complications,” said Dr. Koralnik, who has treated over a thousand patients with the disease and has been published in peer reviewed journals. “Patients with Long COVID-19 show significantly lower scores than the normal population on processing speed, attention, and working memory. This collaboration is an important step towards understanding Long Neuro COVID-19 and the potential for interventional treatment.”
Antisense Therapeutics will leverage its experience with SomaScan®, a proprietary platform for testing proteins on a large scale developed by Somalogic in Boulder, Colorado. Antisense previously used SomaScan® to test ATL1102, which is showing highly promising clinical results in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare and fatal muscle wasting disease where muscle inflammation leads to fibrosis and death of muscle tissue.
ATL1102 has also shown biologic activity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease. There may be a link between Long Neuro Covid and abnormal inflammatory responses; it may even share some of the same virus specific pathophysiological changes as other viral infections including Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Indeed, patients who had COVID-19 while also infected with EBV – which increases the risk of autoimmune diseases like MS and associated adverse neurological manifestations – had an increased risk of memory loss. This study will look for blood disease markers to help determine if ATL1102 could be used to treat Long Neuro COVID-19.
“We want to capitalize on our deep understanding and experience in inflammatory and immune disease,” said Dr. George Tachas, Director of Drug Discovery at Antisense Therapeutics. “Our goal is to identify new ways to better treat a disease that is negatively impacting the lives of millions of people around the world.”
Under the collaboration, Dr. Koralnik will provide existing blood samples that have already been collected from patients with Long COVID-19. Some of the samples have shown blood immune cell changes in patients where there were neurological symptoms. Somalogic’s SomaScan® will be used to generate new data from these samples on up to 7,000 protein changes.
The data will then be analyzed to identify any proteins significantly affected in the blood of convalescent Long COVID-19 patients with no persistent symptoms and Long Neuro COVID-19 patients compared to healthy subjects to identify the proteins that are modulated in Long Neuro COVID-19 disease pathology. This will help determine whether Long Neuro COVID-19 could be treated with ATL1102 or other similar treatments.
The first results of the testing are anticipated in mid-2022. Using existing clinical samples and SomaScan® will save both the time and cost of completing a traditional experimental study and will make Antisense Therapeutics the first to generate the broadest search of plasma proteins on Long Neuro COVID-19.
About Antisense Therapeutics Limited [ASX:ANP | US OTC:ATHJY | FSE:AWY], is an Australian publicly listed biotechnology company, developing and commercializing antisense pharmaceuticals for large unmet markets in rare diseases. The products are in-licensed from Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc., an established leader in antisense drug development. The Company is developing ATL1102, an antisense inhibitor of the CD49d receptor, for Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients and recently reported highly promising Phase II trial results. ATL1102 has also successfully completed a Phase II efficacy and safety trial, significantly reducing the number of brain lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
About ATL1102- ATL1102 is an antisense inhibitor of CD49d, a subunit of VLA-4 (Very Late Antigen-4). Antisense inhibition of VLA-4 expression has demonstrated activity in a number of animal models of inflammatory disease. ATL1102 has also shown to be very effective in reducing inflammatory brain lesions in patients with MS (Limmroth, V. et al Neurology, 2014; 83(20): 1780-1788) and recently delivered highly promising clinical results in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) a rare and fatal muscle wasting disease where inflammation in the muscle leads to fibrosis and death of muscle tissue
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Antisense Therapeutics Forward-Looking Statements:
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the Company’s business & the therapeutic & commercial potential of its technologies & products in development including ATL1102 for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Any statement describing the Company’s goals, expectations, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement & should be considered an at-risk statement. Such statements are subject to certain risks & uncertainties, particularly those risks or uncertainties inherent in the process of developing technology & in the process of discovering, developing & commercializing drugs that can be proven to be safe & effective for use as human therapeutics, & in the endeavor of building a business around such products & services. Actual results could differ materially from those discussed in this press release. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the Antisense Therapeutics Limited Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2021, which is available from the Company or at http://www.antisense.com.au.