PharmAust and WEHI to evaluate monepantel on COVID-19 infection model

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Clinical stage oncology company PharmAust (ASX:PAA) has entered into a Materials Transfer Agreement with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research to test the effects of monepantel on COVID-19 infections.

PharmAust said monepantel’s mechanism of action in cancer may also prove to be beneficial in the treatment of certain viral diseases.

The studies will be conducted by WEHI researcher Professor Marc Pellegrini. Professor Pellegrini is joint head of the Institute’s Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division and an infectious disease clinician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is the recipient of an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Excellence Award for his work on chronic infections.

Under the agreement, PharmAust will own all intellectual property results and rights that are generated from the studies. PharmAust will pay a nominal fee to WEHI for undertaking the studies using monepantel and monepantel sulfone.

PharmAust’s executive chairman Dr Roger Aston said, “We are delighted to be working with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research on this timely and important project and delighted that Professor Marc Pellegrini has agreed to be the Investigator”.

PharmAust’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Richard Mollard added, “The studies will commence shortly and WEHI aims to provide a preliminary data summary in May 2020.”