Recce announces COVID-19 research agreement

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Sydney-based anti-infective company Recce Pharmaceuticals (ASX:RCE) has announced an Antiviral SARS-CoV-2 Screening Program Agreement with CSIRO and the University of Melbourne's Doherty Institute.

The agreement follows the selection of RECCE 327 and RECCE 529’s in the CSIRO-Doherty Institute 'Priority 1' candidate group.

According to the program selection guidelines, Priority 1 status is defined as “highest or strong likelihood of antiviral or antiseptic efficacy – Compounds in this grouping will be eligible for stage 1 laboratory screening trials”.

RECCE 327 is a broad-spectrum synthetic antibiotic formulated using synthetic polymer technology to treat blood infections and sepsis. RECCE 529 is a new synthetic polymer formulation.

Submissions were assessed by a panel of scientific experts in virology, antivirals, medicinal chemistry and the clinical trial of antiviral drugs.

The SARS-CoV-2 Antiviral Screening Program evaluating the compounds is a three-step process involving (1) In-vitro screening/testing, (2) Ex-vivo testing using a model of human epithelial lung cells at Doherty Institute and (3) In-vivo (ferrets) at CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.

All intellectual property rights are retained by the company. The expenditure is staged and the company said it expects the first stage to be an "immaterial amount" of approximately $35,000.

 Dr John Prendergast, Recce Pharmaceuticals non-executive chairman said, “We are very pleased to have been selected by the CSIRO, one of the largest and most diverse scientific research organisations in the world, to investigate the efficacy of two of our promising compounds against SARS-CoV-2.

"The compounds’ unique, universal mechanisms of action indicate potential to attack a broad range of viruses and as well, overcome the threat of viruses’ typical hyper-mutation into new and deadly pathogens.”