2021-01-29| Asia-PacificCOVID-19

Japan’s Shionogi Grants US Company the Rights to Develop a Repurposed Allergic Rhinitis Drug as a COVID-19 Cure

by Tyler Chen
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COVID-19 drugs have become a huge market where every company is eager to enter. However, due to the high R&D cost and the highly competitive market, it’s challenging to squeeze in without innovative technology or promising drugs at hand.

On January 26th, Japan’s Shionogi agreed to grant BioAge Labs, a U.S. biotech, the development and marketing rights of its potential COVID-19 treatment BGE-175 (S-555739) in the U.S., Europe, and the United Kingdom.


BGE-175 – An Allergic Rhinitis Treatment

BGE-175 is a DP1 receptor antagonist that can inhibit PGD2 signaling. It was originally developed for treating allergic rhinitis but was later found out to be a promising medicine for boosting the immune system of COVID-19 patients, especially elders, by drug repurposing.

The safety and tolerability of BGE-175 have been evaluated in clinical trials comprising over 2,400 subjects, and the drug also demonstrated high selectivity and affinity to the DP1 receptor. As DP1 is identified as a target to tackle age-related declines in immune function, BGE-175 might be able to build up a person’s immune system while reducing the severity of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

Furthermore, a study from the University of Iowa showed that the mortality rate of COVID-19 mouse models improves after the injection of DP1 receptor antagonists. Besides, the viral load was substantially plummeted in the lungs, all in all displaying the possibility of BGE-175.


Agreement Details

As per the agreement, in addition to enjoying exclusive rights in particular areas, BioAge Labs will also receive the option to license BGE-175 for other indications. Shionogi will receive an upfront payment, incentives upon reaching development and regulatory milestones and royalties. The price is currently not disclosed in the official news outlet.

As for the drug development, BioAge Labs is determined to launch the Phase 2 trial of BGE-175 for COVID-19 in the first half of 2021.

Related Article: Takeda, KSQ Join Forces to Identify NK Cell Targets For Cancer Therapies



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