Epeleuton is a small molecule with a unique combination of direct antiviral effects against SARS-CoV-2, anti-inflammatory effects and a favourable safety profile suitable for use in outpatient settings.
Afimmune tested Epeleuton’s potential as a direct antiviral against SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian golden hamsters. Hamsters are an established model for pathogenic COVID-19 studies and are commonly used for the evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and therapeutics.
Epeleuton at clinically relevant doses decreased viral load and replication as evidenced by significant and dose-dependent decreases of viral titres and SARS-CoV-2 RNA in throats, nasal turbinates and lungs of hamsters. At the higher Epeleuton dose, as early as day 1 and on the peak of viral load on day 2, there were no detectable viral titres in throats of hamsters.
Epeleuton also decreased the extent and severity of inflammatory and histopathological changes in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts of hamsters in a dose-dependent manner.
This data suggests complete respiratory tract coverage and indicates that Epeleuton may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of COVID-19 to reduce disease burden, risk of hospitalisation and progression to severe COVID-19.
Epeleuton has a favourable safety profile suitable for use in outpatient settings.
A Phase 2 study of Epeleuton in high-risk outpatients with COVID-19 is being considered