Tiziana develops delivery tech for COVID-19 treatment

As of this morning – Thursday April 9 – the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has hit 60,733 with 7,097 deaths.

Tiziana Life Sciences says it has developed an investigational new technology that it hopes will ultimately be used to treat COVID-19 infections.

This technology enables direct delivery of anti-IL-6 receptor (anti-IL-6R) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) into the lungs using a handheld inhaler or nebuliser.

Development of this novel technology is a step forward toward expediting development of TZLS-501, a fully-human anti-IL6R mAb for treatment of patients infected with COVID-19.

“Direct delivery of anti-IL-6R mAb to the lungs using a portable handheld inhaler or nebuliser is a rapid and immediate therapy for children and adults infected with COVID-19,” said the firm’s chairman Gabriele Cerrone.

Importantly, this treatment with our fully human anti-IL-6R mAb (TZLS-501) has the potential to be a long-term therapy to halt progression and reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19, as a portion of the population may not opt to utilise a vaccine”.

Patients infected with COVID-19 can develop an uncontrolled immune response – referred to as a cytokine storm – which results in excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other proteins such as IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF). This causes severe damage to lung tissue resulting in respiratory failure and eventually death.

Among these cytokines, IL-6 seems to be one of the major culprits underlying coronavirus-mediated respiratory failure. Early clinical studies conducted by doctors in China suggest that anti-IL6R mAbs may be used in clinical practice for treatment of COVID-19.

Tiziana believes TZLS-501 (anti-IL6R) combined with this newly introduced inhalation technology may rapidly inhibit inflammation in lungs and in combination with intravenous administration may deplete circulating levels of IL-6 and potentially halt progression of COVID-19-mediated lung damage and death.


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