Jubilant and The Wistar Insitute collaborate on potential COVID-19 treatment
Jubilant Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company advancing small molecule modulators to address unmet medical needs in oncology and autoimmune diseases, has announced a collaboration with biomedical research non-profit The Wistar Institute to evaluate the ability of Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase 4 (PAD4) inhibitors to reduce the clinical severity of COVID-19.
PAD4 is an enzyme that catalyses conversion of arginine to citrulline in proteins, including histones and is highly expressed in neutrophils. Histone citrullination has been implicated in Neutrophil Extracellular Trap (NET) formation, and accumulating evidence suggests that NETs may be linked to the severity of COVID-19, as their formation is a result of pro-inflammatory cytokine release syndrome (CRS), or cytokine storms, produced by the body’s immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Cytokine storms are implicated in the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is the leading cause of death in patients infected with COVID-19.
Syed Kazmi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jubilant Therapeutics, said: “We are very pleased to announce our collaboration with the renowned Wistar Institute.
“Even with COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, we know its wrath will persist for some time to come and the need to reduce its death toll remains critical. Beyond COVID-19, understanding the potential of PAD4 inhibitors to address aberrant NET formation will be important due to their role in the pathogenesis of many disease states beyond viral infections.”
Dr Yulia Nefedova, Associate Professor in the Immunology, Microenvironment, and Metastasis Program at The Wistar Institute, also commented: “This collaboration with Jubilant Therapeutics will further advance our comprehensive research efforts to find therapeutics to diminish cytokine storms and decrease COVID-19 symptom gravity.
“It is our hope that Jubilant Therapeutics’ inhibitors will prove successful in blocking NET formation to this end.”