Eleva’s drug candidate to be examined for use in Covid-19 treatment
Freiburg, Germany, June 03, 2020
Eleva, a manufacturer of superior biologics, is exploring the potential of one of its drug candidates for first-in-line therapy of Covid-19. The compound, factor H, is part of the complement system, which is believed to affect the severity of the course of Covid-19. Eleva has developed factor H previously for a different indication and taken it through pre-clinical stages.
The complement system is a vital pathway acting within the immune system. It recognizes and destroys foreign invaders and protects the body’s own cells with a special component, factor H. Insufficient amounts of factor H lead to excessive inflammation and risk of tissue damage.
Emerging evidence suggests that the lung tissue decay observed in severe cases of Covid-19 could be caused by this unregulated inflammation. Current means to inhibit this process rely on artificial antibodies that block the pathway altogether, stopping the inactivation of pathogens and causing a significant risk of infection. Conversely, supplemented factor H allows for regulated defence while preserving the integrity of the host cells.
Eleva has previously developed recombinant factor H for a different indication, glomerulopathy in kidneys, and taken it through pre-clinical stages. Studies have indicated a significant reduction in tissue damage when factor H was supplemented; factor H proved able to reduce inflammation. Eleva is now looking to accelerate the Covid-19-specific evaluation with a suitable pharmaceutical partner.
Based in Freiburg, Germany, Eleva develops novel biological therapies with its pharmaceutical partners. The privately-held company leverages its unique moss-based production platform to produce supreme biologics like antibodies, replacement enzymes, or fusion toxins. Eleva has successfully developed drug candidates into clinical phases.
About the complement system and Factor H
The human immune defence is divided into two strands: the adaptive system with antibodies and the innate complement system. The complement system consists of a group of proteins that recognize viral and bacterial patterns, trigger inflammation, and break up the pathogens. Factor H ensures that the system only attacks foreign cells by binding to host cells and regulates the main inflammation component, C3a.
Genetically derived lack of factor H dials up the amount of C3a, leading to immoderate inflammation and consequently tissue damage. A surplus of factor H, on the other hand, reduces the amount of C3a. Complement-associated diseases comprise kidney diseases and dry AMD.