PharmAust updates on preliminary MPL anti-viral leukaemia preclinical results

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PharmAust (ASX:PAA) has provided an update on the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) investigation of the anti-viral effects of its monepantel (MPL) upon human T-cell Leukaemia Virus -1 (HTLV-1) in vitro.

The company said WEHI demonstrated that MPL and MPLS can kill HTLV-1-transformed leukaemia cell lines and inhibit HTLV-1 protein production, as measured by in vitro assays.

"The ability of MPL to induce cell death of HTLV-1 transformed cells is greater than that in a control non-transformed cell line (Jurkat)," it said, adding, "These data performed in triplicate indicate that MPL may interfere with the complex HTLV-1 lifecycle."

PharmAust said this work supports its broader program investigating the anti-viral effect of MPL for other pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2.

Chief scientific officer Dr Richard Mollard said, “These early results provide evidence that MPL and MPLS may inhibit the HTLV-1 virus according to two different mechanisms. Firstly, the anti-cancer effect of MPL and MPLS are potentially evident in killing cells transformed by the HTLV-1 virus.

"Secondly, an anti-viral effect is potentially evident whereby MPL and MPLS may directly interfere with viral protein production, independent of effects on the survival of transformed cells. PharmAust will follow up on these results to determine precisely how HTLV-1 protein production is inhibited and the clinical relevance of these data.”