Cynata Therapeutics (ASX: CYP) revealed it is in “active discussions” with international pharmaceutical companies and other parties regarding using its Cymerus mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) platform to treat COVID-19 patients that develop severe symptoms.
According to Cynata, COVID-19 has caused serious ongoing issues including acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis and cytokine release syndrome.
The company noted its Cymerus technology has been of benefit for these indications in preclinical studies.
“Of direct relevance are observations in these preclinical studies that Cynata’s Cymerus MSCs significantly reduce levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase both anti-inflammatory proteins and regular T cells,” the company stated.
The seven COVID-19 pneumonia patients in the study were either cured or “responded favourably” to the MSC treatment.
Advancing Cymerus MSCs
Cynata has also shored up its intellectual property for its Cymerus MSC after securing a patent in Canada, with notices of allowances also received from Israel and Japan’s patent offices.
Planning for phase 2 clinical trials evaluating the Cymerus MCS platform have not been impacted by COVID-19.
Cynata’s lead candidate is CYP-001 and a phase 1 trial using the product generated positive safety and efficacy data in treating steroid resistant acute graft versus host disease.
Meanwhile, Cymerus MSCs will be tested in phase 2 trials for graft versus host disease, critical limb ischemia and osteoarthritis.
Cynata noted it has also demonstrated the technology’s ability in preclinical models of asthma, diabetic wounds, sepsis, heart attack, and cytokine release syndrome, which is a life-threatening condition resulting from cancer immunotherapy.
Cash reserves boosted by R&D tax rebate
Cynata’s clinical trial plans have received a boost after the company received an additional $618,667 R&D tax incentive refund for the 2018-2019 financial year.
The rebate is in addition to the $1.892 million received in January.
Cynata said the funds would be invested in the upcoming clinical trials.
The company’s shares were up almost 10% to $0.95 in mid-morning trade.