Jeremy Skillington of Poolbeg Pharma discusses their exclusive in-licence of RNA-based immunotherapy asset

Episode 518,  Jan 17, 07:19 AM

Jeremy Skillington, CEO of Poolbeg Pharma #POLB discusses their exclusive in-licenced of a novel, first-in-class RNA-based immunotherapy for respiratory virus infections developed at the University of Warwick.

Jeremy Skillington, CEO of Poolbeg Pharma #POLB discusses their exclusive in-licenced of a novel, first-in-class RNA-based immunotherapy for respiratory virus infections developed at the University of Warwick.

Highlights

Poolbeg has secured an exclusive licence to this dual antiviral prophylactic and therapeutic candidate, which is at a late-pre-clinical development stage. In vivo data confirms that this immunotherapy asset targets pan-respiratory virus infections, which could include influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), SARS-CoV-2 and others.

The candidate, which will be developed by Poolbeg as POLB 002, was developed at the University of Warwick and derived from twenty years of research with world class virologists, Professor Andrew Easton and Professor Nigel Dimmock.

Administered intra-nasally, this RNA-based immunotherapy works by triggering nasal cells into an antiviral state to protect from the infecting virus. Simultaneously, it blocks the cells from making more virus by directly preventing its replication. Both modes of action combined can reduce infectious viral loads and improve disease symptoms. As a nasally administered and rapidly effective prophylactic antiviral candidate, it could potentially provide an effective solution for protecting at risk patient populations (e.g. the elderly, COPD patients, and asthmatics).

Respiratory virus infections are considered a top five global killer resulting in more than three million annual deaths worldwide. There is a significant unmet need for improved respiratory virus infection therapies and the current available treatments, vaccines and antiviral drugs, are typically pathogen specific. Consequently, 85% of illnesses caused by non-influenza viruses cannot be adequately treated and the emergence of resistance is also a major concern. 

About Poolbeg Pharma

Poolbeg Pharma is a clinical stage infectious disease pharmaceutical company, with a capital light clinical model which aims to develop multiple products faster and more cost effectively than the conventional biotech model. The Company, headquartered in London, is led by a team with a track record of creation and delivery of shareholder value and aspires to become a "one-stop shop" for Big Pharma seeking mid-stage products to licence or acquire.

The Company is targeting the growing infectious disease market. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, infectious disease has become one of the fastest growing pharma markets and is expected to exceed $250bn by 2025.

With its initial assets from Open Orphan plc, an industry leading infectious disease and human challenge trials business, Poolbeg has access to knowledge, experience, and clinical data from over 20 years of human challenge trials. The Company is using these insights to acquire new assets as well as reposition clinical stage products, reducing spend and risk. It already has a Phase II ready repositioned small molecule immunomodulator for severe influenza and a portfolio of other exciting assets. The Company plans to broaden this portfolio further going forward and is in active discussions with AI data analysis platforms to help accelerate the power of its human challenge model data and biobank.