Westport medical technology company BioSig Technologies Inc. has announced that its majority-owned subsidiary NeuroClear Technologies Inc. has acquired the rights to develop a novel pharmaceutical to treat COVID-19.
In a preliminary internal review, the orally administered, broad-spectrum antiviral agent Vicromax demonstrated strong activity against COVID-19 in cell cultures in laboratory testing, according to the company. In the analysis, Vicromax was added to a tissue culture assay for SARS-CO-2 coronavirus (the causative agent for COVID-19) and an anti-viral effect was observed, which led to a reduction of over 90% of infectious viruses.
The company intends to pursue development of the agent for the treatment of COVID-19 through FDA-approved clinical trials.
The product candidate already completed Phase I and three Phase II trials in other indications, and underwent extensive animal testing and human clinical experience. The company said it expects that Vicromax could be used alone or in a combination with other antiviral agents or immune modulators.
“Stopping the COVID-19 pandemic and preventing similar viral threats in the future must be the number-one priority of all of us in the health care community,” BioSig Chairman and CEO Kenneth L. Londoner said in a statement. “This very promising antiviral is the result of tireless efforts by an accomplished group of pharmaceutical industry veterans, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure it gets tested and brought to market as soon as possible.”
The company intends to develop Vicromax and take it through clinical trials under a new NeuroClear subsidiary, ViralClear Pharmaceuticals Inc., which will be headed by CEO Nick Spring and Chief Operating Officer Steve King.
Westport has been dubbed Connecticut’s “Ground Zero” for the virus, after several of the 50 people who attended a party there later showed signs of infection.
As of last night, Westport had 87 confirmed COVID-19 cases, roughly 16% of the state’s total and by far the largest in Connecticut.