Research Foundation News

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 contact@phytoption.com.

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 otcip@prf.org. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Writer: Chris Adam, cladam@prf.org

Source:
Joanne Zhang, joanne.zhang@phytoption.com


Research Foundation News

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-21 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.