New York, NY – August 03, 2021 – New COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the United States, causing municipal governments to spring into action to combat the rising number of the highly infectious Delta variant cases. On Monday, California and New York City announced that they would require all government employees to get the coronavirus vaccine or face weekly COVID-19 testing. The White House also revealed that it would not be lifting international travel restrictions or re-opening US land borders to help combat the rising cases. With no clear end in sight to the ongoing pandemic, companies like Sixth Wave Innovations (CSE:SIXW) (OTCQB:SIXWF), Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holdings (NASDAQ:TNXP), Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT), Cocrystal Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP) and Altimune (NASDAQ:ALT) are developing rapid tests and potential treatments to combat the virus.
Development-stage nanotechnology company Sixth Wave Innovations (CSE:SIXW) (OTCQB:SIXWF) announced an update on the NSERC-sponsored grant titled: Point-of-need Microfluidic Biosensor for Detecting Airborne Viruses using Molecularly Imprinted polymers: Towards COVID-19 Virus Monitoring. The goal of the grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is to develop a portable, low-cost technology for fast on-site air sampling and detection of droplet-encapsulated and aerosol viruses both indoors and outdoors.
Sixth Wave is collaborating with York University and the Centre Technologique des Residus Industriels (CTRI) on the project, which began August 1, 2020. The project has focused on designing prototypes for the Sixth Wave’s Accelerated Molecular Imprinted Polymers (AMIPs) technology to detect pathogens in the air, water, and wastewater. The collaboration is part of the company’s R&D efforts to transform virus detection by testing individual patients and monitoring entire populations by detecting pathogens in HVAC systems and municipal wastewater facilities.
The AMIP virus detection technology is based on Sixth Wave’s Molecular Imprinted Polymers, a technology that offers strategic advantages over traditional diagnostic technologies. The NSERC project has helped in advancing the capabilities of the company’s AMIP technology.
Sixth Wave is applying its expertise in MIP technologies to bring innovative products that address the shortcomings of traditional technologies that have become more apparent with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, Sixth Wave revealed that its patent-pending Accelerated Molecular Imprinted Polymers (AMIPs) technology had successfully detected both the UK variant and the South African variant of SARS-CoV-2 using two independent techniques: a color-based sensor and independently verified on a Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) based AMIP sensor.
“The flexibility and robustness of the AMIPs platform was demonstrated again. These preliminary results give evidence to the claims that AMIP technology is resistant to loss of efficacy due to virus mutation and new variants. By imprinting and detecting the whole virus AMIPs can be highly resistant to virus mutation compared to other technologies such as immunoassay-based techniques that use antibodies which bind a small region of the virus spike protein. This technology has the potential to give healthcare workers peace of mind that the testing protocol they are using isn’t outdated and obsolete in the world of rapidly evolving viruses.”
Pharma’s Efforts in Ending the COVID-19 Crisis
Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holdings (NASDAQ:TNXP) announced that it signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement to acquire about 48,000 square foot R&D facility in Frederick, MD to support the company’s expanding infectious disease pipeline. The infectious disease pipeline includes TNX-1800, a live-replicating viral vaccine designed to protect against COVID 19, and TNX-3500, a small-molecule antiviral designed to prevent the replication of SARS-CoV-2. Tonix will purchase the facility from Southern Research, a partner in the development of TNX-1800 and TNX-801. The company expects to expand its R&D capabilities to increase its pipeline of vaccines and antiviral therapies especially considering the new threat of new COVID-19 variants that are exposing the shortcomings of the country’s infectious disease R&D.
Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is participating in the research and development of oral recombinant vaccines for COVID-19 administered by tablet rather than injection. As part of its efforts, it conducted a Phase I COVID-19 trial and released data suggesting broad cross-reactivity against other coronaviruses. Vaxart released data indicating that its first COVID-19 oral vaccine, VXA-CoV2-1 triggers mucosal immunity and includes the S and N SARS-CoV-2 proteins. The data from the Phase I trial indicated substantial CD8+ T-cell responses measured by IFN-g and TNF-a induction. The data was compared to T-cell responses from volunteers who were vaccinated with the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines, which showed fewer T-cell responses.
The clinical-stage biotechnology company Cocrystal Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP) announced that its lead preclinical SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease inhibitor CDI-45205 is active against SARS-CoV-2 and two prominent SARS-CoV-2 variants. Cocrystal contracted a third-party laboratory to conduct in-vitro studies evaluating the antiviral activity of CDI-45205 and its analogs in VeroE6-eGFP cells infected with the Wuhan Variant (SARS-CoV-2), the UK variant, and the South African Variant. From the studies, the COVID-19 antiviral showed excellent antiviral activity against the variants. In addition to these studies, Cocrystal is also investigating broad-spectrum oral protease inhibitors and replication inhibitors for treating COVID-19.
Altimmune (NASDAQ:ALT) a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company released an update on its AdCOVID investigational vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 and its T-COVID phase 1 /2 clinical trial to investigate the potential of T-COVID in preventing clinical worsening in patients with early COVID-19. In the AdCOVID update, the company reported that AdCOVID showed a substantially lower immune response compared to vaccines approved for emergency use, therefore, the company is discontinuing further development of AdCOVID beyond the completion of the Phase 1 trial. The company also discontinued enrollment for its third cohort in the Phase 1 /2 clinical trial for T-COVID, after vaccine rollout limited the number of patients qualifying for the trial.
As the US continues to deal with increasing COVID-19 variant cases, companies like Sixth Wave Innovations are intensifying their efforts to provide vaccines and therapies to protect against the deadly virus.
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