March 30, 2021
Startup seeks partners to advance virus therapeutics
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University-affiliated startup is advancing the development of antiviral therapeutics in the fight against COVID-19 and other viral diseases.
Phytoption LLC, in the Purdue Research Park, has been working on the commercialization of Purdue initiated OHPP nanotechnology that significantly boosts drug solubility. A soluble niclosamide drug formulation has been developed using such technology.
Niclosamide, a drug used to treat tapeworms, has been found to have a broad-spectrum antiviral effect against many viruses including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 pandemic. But the drug itself has limited potential because its structure makes it difficult to dissolve and for patients to absorb, especially in convenient dosage forms.
The Purdue and Phytoption teams worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to understand key requirements to further develop soluble niclosamide drugs. They received support from the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund and have conducted key studies with scientists at Purdue, including Thomas Sors, assistant director of the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease (PI4D).
“One of our key missions in PI4D is to connect our faculty members through our extensive research networks to accelerate the translation of their innovations,” Sors said.
The team has completed pilot studies working with the University of Chicago, and the Translational Pharmacology Facility and the Metabolomic Profiling Facility at Purdue’s Bindley Bioscience Center.
“Our oral formulation has shown outstanding bioavailability and prolonged release of niclosamide that has not been achieved by any other known technology,” said Yuan Yao, a Purdue professor of food science.
Joanne Zhang, CEO of Phytoption, said, “We are incredibly thankful for the support from the grant sources and Purdue collaborators.”
The team is looking for additional partnerships and support. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Purdue Research Foundation
Purdue Research Foundation supports Purdue University’s land-grant mission by helping the university improve the world through its technologies and graduates. Established in 1930, PRF is a private, nonprofit foundation. The foundation helps patent and commercialize Purdue technologies; builds places to encourage innovation, invention, investment, commercialization and entrepreneurship; and makes equity available to students to finance their Purdue education. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at email@example.com. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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