Australian clinical-stage drug development company Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) has announced the lodgement of an international patent application aimed at protecting the use of Veyonda (idronoxil) in blocking the development of septic shock associated with infections.
Veyonda is being developed as an anti-cancer drug with the potential to enhance the effectiveness of existing anti-cancer treatments.
"One of its anti-cancer actions is the blocking of a signalling pathway called STING that serves as trigger for an immune response and repair of damaged tissue. In some individuals, the STING response is inappropriately excessive, pushing the individual over into septic shock," said the company.
"Veyonda appears to be the first drug that blocks STING in the clinic," it said.
Septic shock occurs in response to viral and bacterial infections from viruses and a wide range of bacterial infections and parasites when an inappropriate, dramatic and self-destructive inflammatory response occurs. Large numbers of pro-inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines are released into the blood, creating a range of problems such as clotting that lead to multiple organ damage and death. The chemical response is known as a cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and the entire process is known as septic shock.
The company said septic shock is believed responsible for an estimated ten million deaths globally per annum with an estimated extra three million additional deaths from the current pandemic to be added to that figure.
"The aim of Veyonda is to block the cytokine cascade stemming from an inappropriately high STING response. The objective is to use Veyonda in patient with poor lung function, and by stopping them from tipping over into CRS, thereby reduce the incidence of long-term disability and death and relieve the strain on high-care medical services," added the company.