ENA Respiratory says it has been selected to join a major joint initiative between Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS and the US government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
The joint initiative - Blue Knight - offers a scientific and technological ecosystem for innovative, early-stage companies to develop technologies that aim to combat health threats and emerging infectious diseases.
ENA Respiratory is the first Australian company to be selected to join Blue Knight. It is developing a first-in-class broad-spectrum antiviral innate immunomodulatory - INNA-051 - for pan-antiviral prophylaxis in at-risk populations and pandemic preparedness.
As a Blue Knight company, ENA Respiratory will benefit from mentorship from experts from BARDA, Johnson & Johnson, and a global network of innovators who could provide insight in support of the development of INNA-051.
ENA Respiratory’s self-administered nasal spray INNA-051 product is designed to stimulate the innate immunity in the nose, which is the preferential site of initial infection and replication of most respiratory viruses.
The company said pre-clinical research demonstrates that INNA-051 has pan-antiviral potential with efficacy against a variety of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and the common cold rhinovirus.
“As we continue to advance the development of INNA-051, we look forward to working alongside BARDA, industry leaders, and other innovative companies with the aim to address emerging health threats and better protect our global community against infectious diseases,” said CEO Christophe Demaison.