Pharma Focus Asia

A2A Pharmaceuticals Collaborates With LAXAI Life Sciences to Co-develop SARS-CoV-2 Main Proteases Inhibitors for the Treatment of COVID-19

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

A2A Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company committed to the advancement of innovative scientific research and new therapeutic agents announces today an agreement to co-develop SARS-CoV-2 Main Proteases inhibitors for the treatment of COVID-19 with Laxai Life Sciences Pvt., Ltd., a company delivering cutting edge technological and scientific and development solutions.

Under this collaboration, A2A designed the molecules using its proprietary computational AI-enabled drug discovery platform SCULPT™, which are currently being synthesized and will be evaluated by Laxai. Both parties will collaborate in preclinical optimization and selection of lead candidates to enter the clinic.

"MPro is a very attractive drug target for COVID-19 due to its pivotal role in mediating viral replication and transcription as well as its druggability owing to a well-defined pocket and susceptibility to targeted covalent inhibitors demonstrated in recent structural information", said Dr. Elena Diez Cecilia, program lead and director of BD and R&D strategy for A2A. She added "We're excited to embark on this collaboration with Laxai, combining our drug design expertise with Laxai's vast drug discovery experience including chemical process R&D and GMP manufacturing. Combined, we are positioned to accelerate development to reach patients faster"

With this collaboration, A2A wants to put its technology and expertise to use to discover highly selective targeted inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 MPro, as opposed to repurposing or vHTS efforts ongoing elsewhere, to design more efficacious and safer treatments.

Dr. Ram S. Upadhayaya, CEO Laxai Life Sciences, commented "We are excited to collaborate with A2A on COVID-19 project. Laxai's in-house technological capabilities truly compliments its intellectual prowess. This collaboration is an amalgamation of ahead-of-times thoughts; and the product can only be success!"

Dr. Raghava Reddy Kethiri, CSO Laxai Life Sciences says, "the designed compounds have the potential to have broad-spectrum antiviral activity owing to the conserved active site residues of Mpro among multiple viruses in the supercluster, which includes coronaviruses and other related viruses that could emerge in future."

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