Benevira Announces Positive Preclinical Data for its Novel COVID-19 Treatment
β521 demonstrated 99 percent efficacy against infection in healthy cells for both delta and omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants in in-vivo studies.
Benevira will advance β521 into further preclinical studies as the company’s lead SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic candidate.
NEW YORK - May 24, 2022 - Benevira, a global synthetic biology company focused on treating viral disease, today announced positive preclinical safety and efficacy data on β521, a novel SARS-CoV-2 therapy, demonstrating robust tolerability and efficacy against several SARS-CoV-2 variants. The results showed that β521 was 99% effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections in Vero cells grown in the presence of a high titer of delta or omicron variants. In addition, 100% tolerability was observed for β521 in New Zealand rabbits at a maximum dosing concentration. β521 is the lead candidate in the company’s therapeutics pipeline developed to target functional components of viruses that are unlikely to evolve, thus retaining their efficacy as potential new variants emerge.
“The promising initial results for β521 provide optimism that our innovative synthetic biology tools can help us advance effective therapies against the multitude of variants produced by SARS-CoV-2 as well as future betacoronavirus pandemics,” said Dr. Roee Amit, co-founder of Benevira, and Professor in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at Technion –Israel Institute of Technology. “We believe that our technology will allow us to tailor biological solutions to a wide range of infectious diseases and look forward to the continued advancement of our pipeline.”
β521 works by blocking SARS-CoV-2 from infecting healthy cells, stopping the infection cycle before it can begin, thus protecting the viability of the exposed cells. The mechanism of action for β521 will protect against a COVID-19 infection in healthy people upon exposure to the virus or prevent the worsening of the COVID-19 disease in already infected patients. β521 does not penetrate cells, and as a result it is expected to have reduced off-target toxicity. As a wave of new infections and possible new variants emerge, there is a need to develop more effective therapies to treat COVID-19 across current, emerging and future variants.
“Benevira was founded with the belief that we have the technology today to help prevent the pandemics of tomorrow through therapeutics tailored to target weaknesses identified in viral genomes,” said Patricia Kitchen, Chief Executive Officer of Benevira. “Based on these favorable preclinical results, we will advance β521 into the next stage of clinical development and, in parallel, continue to stay focused on other potential global viral threats.”
Benevira developed β521 utilizing technology licensed from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. Under the license agreement Benevira has exclusive rights to develop and market β521, as well as other potential viral treatments developed utilizing the Technion technology. Benevira’s betacoronavirus program consists of novel therapeutic and prophylactic solutions to combat SARS-CoV-2 and future pandemics. The company is also conducting preclinical research on treatments for SARS-CoV-1, MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), human papillomavirus (HPV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and influenza.
Benevira is a global synthetic biology company developing a suite of self-administered antiviral solutions. The company was created on a foundation of innovation and state-of-the-art drug development expertise with the goal of developing new viral therapeutics and prophylactics.
Benevira’s comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to prevention and treatment of viral infection, like SARS-CoV-2, offers a differentiated value proposition compared to the therapeutics that are currently marketed.
The company intends to complete drug development of its first candidate therapeutic, providing validation for the company's drug discovery platform and the novel mechanism of action it seeks to target. In addition to SARS-CoV-2, Benevira seeks to treat and prevent viral infection by viruses such as human papilloma virus (HPV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), SARS-CoV-1, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), variola and influenza.
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This press release contains “forward-looking statements” that may include, but are not limited to, statements concerning Benevira’s efforts to combat COVID-19; the potential upcoming clinical activities and our expectations regarding the characteristics of the therapeutic drug delivery. Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on Benevira’s current expectations and beliefs of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. Some risks and uncertainties, as an example, could include, but are not limited to, the ability to produce comparable clinical results, the ability to effectively scale up commercial production, or potential other difficulties. All information in this press release is as of the date of release, updated and complete.