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LTX-109 as a therapeutic and prophylactic agent for upper respiratory tract infections

Awarded: NOK 99,999

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is expected to become endemic in the coming years with occasional flare-ups. In particular, the continual emergence of new coronavirus variants, some of which may be resistant to current vaccines, pose a risk. It is therefore expected that the need for new safe and effective treatments for COVID-19 patients will persist. Hence, as part of an overall COVID strategy, new effective broad-spectrum antiviral medicines need to be developed as complementary therapies to vaccines. LTX-109, as an intranasal antiviral for use in outpatient setting, may represent an attractive treatment option for battling the pandemic. LTX-109 is a novel short cationic synthetic peptide-like molecule/peptidomimetic (monocarboxylic acid amide, tripeptide, with molecular weight of 897.46 Da) which binds preferentially to negatively charged membrane components on microorganisms via electrostatic interactions, subsequently inducing fast-acting membrane lysis and death/inactivation. LTX-109 has recently been found to have a virucidal effect on SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses, including Influenza A. LTX-109 is also in development for antibacterial use for the indication Nasal Decolonization of S. aureus, among others. LTX-109 is not approved for marketing in any indication. LTX-109 has been found safe in five clinical trials and efficacy data are compelling on bacteria and fungi, and, albeit only in vitro (while awaiting results from the ongoing Proof-of-Concept clinical trial), on several virus, including SARS-CoV-2.

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