27.03.2020, Greenville South Carolina
A previously untested approach to preventing the most severe outcomes of lung diseases, including COVID-19, has been developed by Elastrin Therapeutics based on targeting damaged elastic fiber that lead to impairment of lung function. Herefore, the company has developed the worlds first humanized antibody that specifically only targets exposed elastin fiber, and is currently pursuing investment to advance further development of a therapy.
A Promising Causal Treatment
The many drugs being tested against the ‘Inflammatory Storm’ that sickens or kills most COVID-19 patients do not address a pre-existing condition that opens patients to this storm and worsens the damage. The condition is the destruction of the elastic fiber that is essential for air sacs and blood vessels to deliver oxygen and blood. Many patients who die from COVID-19 have damaged fiber due to a ‘vicious cycle’ that compromises basic health, then turns the body’s immune system against itself to accelerate the ‘Inflammatory Storm’. Scientists working with Elastrin Therapeutics demonstrated pre-clinical Proof of Concept of interrupting that cycle, then repairing damage to the fiber in animals. The process uses a proprietary antibody-guided, drug-loaded nanoparticle that moderates the inflammatory response to prevent uncontrolled inflammation and for the first time actually repairs the damaged fiber. A complementary therapy using a well characterized metal complex agent has also been shown by Elastrin to reverse hardening of the arteries, which degrades the ability of blood vessels to keep the body healthy – offering a second opportunity to reverse another vulnerability that opens patents to infections such as COVID-19.
Collaborating with investors and agencies to fund fast-track safety testing and accelerate regulatory approvals is the biggest challenge for the innovative start-up. The Elastrin platform being offered to investors is DESTiNED (Degraded Elastin Specific Targeting Nanoparticle-based, efficacy-optimized Drug-delivery). For this, Elastrin’s scientists developed the first humanized antibody specific for damaged elastin. Elastrin is testing it in animal models and exploring partnerships with companies developing therapies for pulmonary diseases.
"These types of epidemics will be the new normal unless we develop a sustained solution that deals with the underlying factors”, said Elastrin Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Naren Vyavahare, who adds, “We are proud that Elastrin might make a unique contribution to addressing these diseases. It is important not to give false hope. Still, we do have proof of the concept of being able to affect the inflammatory cascade, and there is extensive clinical evidence that the active ingredients already have beneficial effects. Our next steps are underway as we are approaching emergency agencies and laboratories experienced with animal models and handling of the virus.”
About Elastrin Therapeutics, Inc.
Elastrin is a South Carolina based biotech startup currently preparing its seed financing round. Its underlying technology was developed by Dr. Naren Vyavahare during the last 20 years at Clemson University, lately in collaboration with Dr. Charles Rice, who developed the antibody, and was licensed to Elastrin by the Clemson University Research Foundation in South Carolina, U.S.A. Humanization of the antibody specific for degraded elastin, and therapeutics development plan are in part supported by a Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, as well as grants from the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA).
For more information on partnership and investment options:
Douglas Mulhall, Chairman