Korean Pharmaceutical Company AptaBio Has Been Proved Effective in Treating COVID-19 With Its 'Apx-115'

Published : Thursday, April 16, 2020, 3:33 pm
ACROFAN=Seunghee Shin | | SNS

On 16th, AptaBio Co., Ltd., a South Korean biopharmaceutical company specialized in developing treatments of anti-cancer and diabetic complications, announced that it had demonstrated the effectiveness of COVID-19 treatment candidates.

The company stated that through cell experiments, its NADPH oxidase (NOX) enzyme inhibitor treatment agent, APX-115, has been proved effective in treating COVID-19. According to the company's explanation, 'APX-115' inhibits the infection of the coronavirus in the cell, thereby fundamentally preventing infection. Also, it already has the effect of treating the infected cells and proved the function of treating pneumonia and lung fibrosis.

Viruses penetrate cells through ACE2, a receptor protein in the human body. It moves through the endosome, which acts as a mass transfer agent in the cell and replicates RNA through the cell nucleus to spread the virus in the body. Here, the coronavirus has a protein protrusion that strongly binds to the ACE2 receptor and thus has higher infectivity than other viruses.

In the process of virus penetration, AptaBio's 'APX-115' hinders the enzyme 'NOX2' in the endosome and inhibits reactive oxygen species (ROS), thereby preventing viral migration through the endosome and infecting cells.

Moreover, 'APX-115' was confirmed to be effective in killing infected cells, which is a similar function to the current COVID-19 treatment candidate' Remdesivir.' 'APX-115' also showed an effect on acute pneumonia and lung fibrosis, the main symptoms of COVID-19. Therefore, the company explained that the treatment would be possible by inhibiting the enzyme 'NOX4' in the body, which is the cause of pneumonia and lung fibrosis.

AptaBio plans to conduct a phase 2 clinical trial on COVID-19 patients soon. Through the trial, the company intends to confirm the efficacy and proper dosage of 'APX-115.'

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