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Nature Publication Highlights New ‘Blueprint’ Revealing How SARS-CoV-2 Hijacks Human Cells; Points to Drugs With Potential to Fight COVID-19 and a Drug That Aids Its Infectious Growth

Led by UCSF Quantitative Biosciences Institute Director, Nevan Krogan, PhD, international effort including researchers from UCSF, Gladstone Institutes, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Institut Pasteur unveils promising compounds for clinical testing

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — An international team of more than 120 scientists has detailed the impact of 75 over-the-counter prescription and development-stage drug compounds on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Several of these agents show promise in blocking SARS-CoV-2 replication in laboratory experiments. One compound investigated in the research, a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines, appears to have the potential to promote the growth of the virus.

The collaborative study, published in Nature on April 30, 2020, was assembled and led by Nevan Krogan, PhD, director of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute at UC San Francisco and a senior investigator at Gladstone Institutes. As the first hints of the pandemic emerged in January, over a matter of just a few weeks, Krogan formed a rapid-response research team of dozens of scientists and clinicians — hailing from UCSF, Gladstone, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and Institut Pasteur in Paris — to search for potential treatments for COVID-19.

Rather than focusing on an antiviral approach to block SARS-CoV-2, the researchers first combined biological and computational techniques to create a “blueprint” of more than 300 human proteins that the virus requires to infect human cells and to thrive and replicate in the body. They then explored the question of which drugs, both those that are currently marketed as well as those in development, might be repurposed to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection by targeting those human proteins.

The researchers emphasized that while the drugs identified in the study are promising, they have only been tested against the virus in laboratory experiments. The researchers do not advocate anyone prescribing and/or using the drugs unless human clinical trials find them to be safe and effective.

Repurposed Compounds that Show Promise for Fighting COVID-19; Further Research Needed

Looking at a list of drugs that interact with the protein blueprint, UCSF researchers Brian Shoichet, PhD, and Kevan Shokat, PhD, led studies employing chemical biology and computational approaches. Two drug categories emerged as promising agents to effectively reduce viral infectivity: protein translation inhibitors (including zotatifin and ternatin-4/plitidepsin), and drugs that modulate proteins inside the cell known as Sigma1 and Sigma2 receptors, including progesterone, PB28, PD-144418, hydroxychloroquine; the antipsychotic drugs haloperidol and cloperazine; siramesine, an antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug; and the antihistamines clemastine and cloperastine.

Among the protein translation inhibitors, the strongest antiviral effect in vitro was seen with zotatifin, which is currently in clinical trials for cancer, and ternatin-4/plitidepsin, which is FDA-approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Among the Sigma1 and Sigma2 modulators, the antipsychotic haloperidol, used to treat schizophrenia, showed antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Olanzapine, used to treat both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had no measurable effect on the virus. Two potent antihistamines, clemastine and cloperastine, displayed antiviral activity, as did PB28 and to a lesser extent the female hormone progesterone.

“While a large amount of COVID-19 therapeutic development research focuses on the antivirals and vaccines, we’ve taken a different approach, targeting the human counterparts and vulnerabilities required for viral infection in a human cell,” said Krogan. “Our work leverages approved and development-stage molecules and will help to focus clinical trials toward the most promising agents to combat COVID-19. We also continue to search for additional agents that target the human proteins used by SARS-CoV-2 to expand the armamentarium against the virus,” he said.

“While these are early data, we have a high degree of confidence in the results, since similar  observations on the antiviral activity of these drugs arose from work done independently at both Mount Sinai and Institut Pasteur. Research at this speed and magnitude could only have been accomplished through a collaborative effort from several scientists at multiple institutions, each bringing unique but complementary skill sets towards a common research goal,” said Adolfo García-Sastre, PhD, Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Director of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. García-Sastre led the virological studies along with Marco Vignuzzi, PhD, principal investigator in the Viral Populations Unit at Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Vignuzzi commented, “This study provides novel potential antiviral strategies that need to be explored, and it is unique in that it extends our knowledge on our basic understanding of how the virus interacts with the host.”

PB28 Shows Significantly Greater Antiviral Activity than Hydroxychloroquine

Among drugs targeting Sigma1 and Sigma2 receptors, a preclinical compound called PB28 had approximately 20 times greater antiviral activity than hydroxychloroquine in laboratory experiments, which is being studied as a potential therapy for COVID-19 in multiple clinical trials.

Theory for Cardiac Side Effects of Hydroxychloroquine

The new study presents a possible explanation for the serious cardiac side effects observed in some halted clinical studies of hydroxychloroquine. The researchers showed that, in addition to targeting the Sigma1 and -2 receptors, hydroxychloroquine also binds to a protein known as hERG, which is critical for regulating electrical activity in the heart. These laboratory findings may help explain the possible risks associated with this agent as a potential therapy for COVID-19.

Caution Urged for Dextromethorphan

Finally, the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, which acts on Sigma1 receptors, promoted viral infection in the laboratory experiments, and the researchers said that its use merits caution and warrants further study in the context of COVID-19.

Next Step: Testing Compounds in Animal and Human Clinical Studies for COVID-19

Krogan said the next step is to further investigate the most promising compounds to advance them as quickly as possible through clinical trials. “We are working with several pharma and biotech companies to evaluate the antiviral effectiveness and safety of drug candidates that showed the most promise in our laboratory experiments,” he said. “Conversely, because our research shows that dextromethorphan promotes SARS-CoV-2 infection in the laboratory, we urge that this compound be used prudently during the pandemic.”

Shokat added, “Our collaborative efforts have successfully mapped the proteins in the human body associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, which has informed swift, science-based drug discovery. Uncovering the proteins targeted by this coronavirus has unveiled compounds across different drug classes that might have otherwise not have been obvious to study in a viral setting.”

Background on innovative scientific approach

The researchers introduced the coronavirus proteins into human cells in culture. Once inside the cells, the viral proteins found specific human proteins that they could latch onto—very much as they would during a normal infection.

After identifying these proteins and determining small molecules known to bind them based on prior scientific research, the scientists identified 69 molecules that seemed most promising based on their targeting specificity.

Subsequently, the team assessed the impact of 47 of these compounds in cells infected with live virus, as well as an additional 28 compounds known to act on two key targets identified by other methods. These experiments were required to quickly establish robust and quantitative viral replication inhibition assays under high biocontainment to study the impact of these compounds on the biological cycle of the SARS-CoV-2

Aside from helping scientists quickly identify the most promising drug candidates to pursue, which may result in the initiation of new clinical trials, these results also provide broad insights into SARS-CoV-2 infection. Scientists can use this information to understand or anticipate the effect of experimental treatments already attempted in the clinic. Additionally, this novel approach for drug discovery can be leveraged across other viral and non-viral diseases.

About QBI: The Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) fosters collaborations across the biomedical and the physical sciences, seeking quantitative methods to address pressing problems in biology and biomedicine. Motivated by problems of human disease, QBI is committed to investigating fundamental biological mechanisms, because ultimately solutions to many diseases have been revealed by unexpected discoveries in the basic sciences. Learn more at qbi.ucsf.edu.

About UCSF: The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area. Learn more at ucsf.edu or see our Fact Sheet.

About Gladstone Institutes: To ensure our work does the greatest good, Gladstone Institutes focuses on conditions with profound medical, economic, and social impact—unsolved diseases. Gladstone is an independent, nonprofit life science research organization that uses visionary science and technology to overcome disease. It has an academic affiliation with UC San Francisco. Learn more at gladstone.org.

About the Mount Sinai Health System: The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Department of Microbiology and the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute at ISMMS is comprised of several research groups advancing research and understanding on emerging and re-emerging virus pathogens, and has quickly reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by dedicating research and clinical resources to mitigate COVID-19. For more information, visit mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About the Institut Pasteur and the Institut Pasteur International Network
: The Institut Pasteur, a non-profit foundation with recognized charitable status established by Louis Pasteur in 1887, is today an internationally renowned center for biomedical research with a network of 32 institutes worldwide. In the pursuit of its mission to prevent and control diseases in France and throughout the world, the Institut Pasteur operates in four main areas: research, public health, education and training, and development of research applications. A globally recognized leader in infectious diseases, microbiology, and immunology, the institute also investigates cancer, genetic and neurodegenerative diseases, genomics and developmental biology. Its research aims to expand knowledge of the living world in a bid to lay the foundations for new prevention strategies and novel therapeutics. Since its inception, ten Institut Pasteur scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine, including two in 2008 for the 1983 discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. Visit pasteur.fr for more information.

Authorship and funding: This work was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Center for Research for Influenza Pathogenesis, the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Centers of Excellence for Integrative Biology of Emerging Infectious Diseases of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France), F. Hoffmann-LaRoche AG, Vir Biotechnology, and the Ron Conway Family. Shokat is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. A complete list of authors and full funding information is available in the Nature paper.

Media Briefing
April 30, 2020
8:00 a.m. PDT / 11:00 a.m. EDT / 17:00 CEST

Register in advance, or log in live
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Media Contacts
UCSF QBI UCSF
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Sylvia Wheeler, Wheelhouse LSA
 swheeler@wheelhouselsa.com
Gladstone Institutes  Mount Sinai 
Megan McDevitt, Gladstone Communications Lucia Lee, Mount Sinai Communications
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Institut Pasteur
Aurélie Perthuison
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Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) Announces Virginia Tech as the 2020 Future Technologies Symposium Winner

The Symposium will take place on May 15 during the 2020 OCP Virtual Summit

AUSTIN, Texas, April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP), a collaborative community focused on redesigning hardware technology to efficiently support the growing demands on compute infrastructure, announces today that Virginia Tech is the winner of the 2020 Future Technologies Symposium. The Symposium is an OCP initiative that brings the startup, academic, analyst and investor communities together to collaboratively solve future industry problems and accelerate productization through partnerships and open source R&D. The full-day virtual event will be held on May 15 in association with the 2020 OCP Virtual Summit taking place May 12-15.

Members of Virginia Tech’s Center for Power Electronics Systems will be recognized with a $10,000 award during the Symposium for their submission entitled “3kW Power Supply Design with Easy Manufacturability for 48 V Bus Power Architecture.” The paper discusses methods for data centers to design the DC-DC unit of the 3kW power supply for the 48V architecture with easier manufacturability and lower cost, as well as a demonstrated prototype for 400V/48V 3kW 1MHz.

“It’s indeed a pleasure to be part of the OCP Future Technologies Symposium,” states Fred C. Lee, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES) at Virginia Tech. “Our research team at Virginia Tech – CPES has been working on advancing power electronics technologies for decades. The Symposium is a great opportunity for us to share timely our latest research related to the next generation of Data Center power delivery architecture and power conversion technologies to the leading industry organizations. Being recognized as the top paper award for our paper entitled 3kW Power Supply Design with Easy Manufacturability for 48 V Bus Power Architecture means a great deal to our students and motivates them to continue working on further improvement.”

“We received an incredible response to this year’s Future Technologies Symposium with innovative and creative submissions from up-and-coming startups, highly-regarded academic organizations and some of the top established companies in the industry,” comments Rocky Bullock, CEO for the Open Compute Project Foundation. “We were particularly impressed with the work that Virginia Tech submitted this year on the topic of 48 V Bus Power Architecture and look forward to their team presenting their proposed methods during the Symposium.”

“We continue to be impressed with the level of engagement and the quality of topics coming from Academia and Startup communities to the Future Technologies Symposium,” adds Allan Smith, Chair, OCP Future Technologies Symposium and Facebook Area 404 Lab Manager. “This year’s winner (Va Tech) has challenged the industry to rethink its power architectures going forward.”

In its second year, The 2020 Future Technologies Symposium is part of the 4-day 2020 OCP Virtual Summit. This year’s Summit will be an interactive virtual experience that can be accessed from anywhere in the world and incorporates all the key components of OCP’s annual Global Summit, including keynote sessions, executive tracks, an Expo Hall with Expo Hall talks, Engineering Workshops and the OCP Experience Center. Click here to register for the OCP Virtual Summit on May 12-15, 2020. Registration is free for all attendees and the full schedule can be found here.

About Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP)
The Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) was initiated in 2011 with a mission to apply the benefits of open source and open collaboration to hardware and rapidly increase the pace of innovation in, near and around the data center’s networking equipment, general purpose and GPU servers, storage devices and appliances, and scalable rack designs. OCP’s collaboration model is being applied beyond the data center, helping to advance the telecom industry & EDGE infrastructure. www.opencompute.org

OCP Contact:
Dirk Van Slyke
Open Compute Project Foundation
(281) 667-4644
dirkv@opencompute.org

Media Contact:
Jaymie Scotto & Associates (JSA)
1-866-695-3629 ext. 11
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CariClub in Partnership With Charity Navigator Announces Community Inclusion Fund to Raise $500 Million in Relief and Recovery to Communities Impacted by COVID-19

NEW YORK, April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CariClub, the professional network for social impact, in partnership with Charity Navigator is pleased to announce the launch of the Community Inclusion Fund, a new charitable campaign to help vulnerable communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 – particularly those of color. CariClub has also engaged one2one and Charity Brands on this initiative to invite corporations and business leaders to support this curated selection of highly-rated nonprofits. They will address the economic and health disparities of underserved communities exacerbated by the pandemic.

Through CariClub’s board-matching technology, high-performing employees from corporations that financially support the Community Inclusion Fund will have the unique opportunity to serve as associate and governing board members. Their presence at hundreds of nonprofits will make a difference in the cities where these companies do business.

The Community Inclusion Fund’s mission is to support underserved communities across the United States that have been overwhelmingly burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic due to higher poverty levels and unequal access to quality education, nutrition, healthcare in their neighborhoods. The fund will have a special focus on underserved communities with a high concentration of essential workers. As a New York City based organization, CariClub knows first-hand why some racial groups have become more vulnerable to this Coronavirus pandemic than others. Black, Hispanic, and Asian people make up more than 70% of the city’s essential workers, including transit, childcare, health care, cleaning service, and postal employees. More than 40% of transit workers are black and 60% of frontline cleaning workers are Hispanic, according to a report released in March by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office. From discrimination to language barriers, a variety of factors are affecting their vulnerability to coronavirus. The largest disparity seen so far has involved race and ethnicity. A recent CDC report found that African Americans are disproportionately affected due to many risk factors. These are the populations and communities this initiative will support through this funding campaign.

CariClub’s CEO and Founder Rhoden Monrose stated, “I never would’ve been able to get to where I am without help from nonprofits and scholarships. The current pandemic reinforces how critical nonprofits are for low-income communities like the one I grew up in that does not get equal access to healthcare and economic opportunities. Our goal is to raise at total of $500m, $100m per year for 5 years.”

The placement of emerging leaders in business on nonprofit boards will be mutually beneficial, as it provides nonprofits with access to top talent with unique perspectives, skill sets, and networks while mobilizing those individuals to become ambassadors of corporate responsibility, further developing their leadership skills, and addressing challenges in marginalized communities. Associate board members are leaders who help to advocate and raise funds for a nonprofit. As ambassadors for an organization’s mission, they will lead a community of enthusiastic volunteers and will become the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

CariClub chose to partner with Charity Navigator, the world’s largest and most trusted evaluator of nonprofits, to ensure the funds donated will be given to organizations that are financially healthy, accountable, and transparent. Charity Navigator will assess the financial efficiency and capacity, governance practices, and risk profile for each nonprofit organization nominated by the Community Inclusion Fund’s associate board. The board will be composed of young professionals that represent the communities being served by the fund. Empowered with information from Charity Navigator, the Community Inclusion Fund’s executive board, a diverse group of for-profit and nonprofit leaders, will select the recipient organizations which will go through a final round of due diligence by one2one before receiving funding.

President of Charity Brands Stephen Adler brings his expertise to this initiative and said, “It’s incredible to be involved with CariClub. We look forward to leveraging our 35 years of experience and $12bn raised for nonprofits with corporations who are involved in cause-related marketing at such a critical moment in our nation’s history.”

Brian Grace, Partner & Head of Strategy at Charity Brands stated “the Community Inclusion Fund is a unique fund that will benefit the nonprofits the traditional monetary donation route as well as through human capital from corporations, this will assist nonprofits with repairing, rebuilding and reopening from the damage COVID-19 has caused.”

Corporations interested in financially supporting the Community Inclusion Fund can express interest at http://www.cariclub.com/cif.

ABOUT CARICLUB
CariClub’s tech-enabled platform makes it easy for corporations to develop and retain their next generation of world-class leaders and culture carriers. That’s exactly why CariClub is able to attract industry-leading firms like Citigroup, Deloitte, Davis Polk, Morgan Stanley, and KKR as clients. High-performing companies partner with CariClub in order to place their best employees on the boards of leading non-profit organizations. CariClub’s board matching technology removes all the administrative friction that makes it logistically untenable and cost prohibitive for any one company to launch a scalable board matching program in-house. Since launching in 2015, CariClub has partnered with hundreds of nonprofits and foundations to place young professionals on boards at no cost to the nonprofit organizations. Headquartered in New York City with plans for global expansion, CariClub is reimagining what it means for companies to do well and do good. For more information or to join, visit CariClub.com.

Rhoden Monrose
Chief Executive Officer
(917) 400-4706
rhoden@cariclub.com

ABOUT CHARITY NAVIGATOR
Charity Navigator is the world’s largest and most-utilized independent charity evaluator. The organization guides informed giving by evaluating the financial health, accountability, and transparency of charities and by providing data for about 1.7 million nonprofits, accessed more than 10 million times annually. Charity Navigator does not charge the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a 501(c)(3) public charity itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations, and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America’s charitable givers.

Kevin Scally
Chief Relationship Officer
Mobile: 201-345-5208
Email: kscally@charitynavigator.org

ABOUT CHARITY BRANDS
Charity Brands was founded 35 years ago by long term veteran Stephen Adler, the firm is a leader in the cause marketing and charitable giving industry. Since its inception Charity Brands has raised over $12bn for non-profits through creating cause marketing campaigns for F500 companies and aligning them with the beneficiary non-profits. Charity Brands has been involved in some of the largest cause marketing campaigns globally including The (RED) Campaign with Bono, Drive for the Cure with BMW, Pepsi Refresh Project and The Pharmaceutical Roundtable for American Heart Association.

Stephen Adler
Chief Executive Officer
Mobile: 914-536-9050
Email: sadler@charitybrands.com

ABOUT one2one USA Foundation 
one2one USA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that is changing the way charitable giving works. Our goal is to create a community of donors who will collectively improve countless lives. one2one USA Foundation was conceived with the objective of creating a new model for philanthropy that would make the process of donating more customizable, transparent and impactful. By enabling donors to give based on causes that inspire them and fostering ongoing interactions with donees, our belief is that donors will not only give, but give even more.

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ลอสแองเจลิส, April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ผ่าน NetworkWire — InvestorBrandNetwork (“IBN”) บริษัทตัวแทนด้านการสื่อสารองค์กรอันทันสมัยและผู้จัดจำหน่ายเนื้อหาที่หลากหลาย ได้ประกาศแผนการที่กำลังจะมีขึ้นสำหรับการขยายตัวในปี 2020 และในอนาคต

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“IBN มีประวัติการเติบโตที่มั่นคงอย่างมาก ตลอดกว่าสิบปี เราได้สร้างเครือข่าย แบรนด์ และหุ้นส่วนรายใหม่อย่างต่อเนื่องซึ่งเป็นการเสริมชุดโซลูชันการสื่อสารองค์กรของเรา” Sherri Franklin ผู้อำนวยการฝ่ายบริการลูกค้า กล่าว “ความสามารถในการปรับตัวนี้ช่วยให้เราได้สัมผัสกับการเจริญเติบโตอย่างรวดเร็วนี้แม้ในความไม่แน่นอนแห่งปี 2020 เรามีความยินดีกับความสำเร็จของโครงสร้างพื้นฐานดิจิทัลของเราและวิธีการที่ได้สร้างโซลูชันที่จะช่วยให้ธุรกิจสามารถนำทางผ่านความท้าทายของการสื่อสารในปัจจุบัน”

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InvestorBrandNetwork (IBN)
ลอสแองเจลิส, แคลิฟอร์เนีย
www.InvestorBrandNetwork.com
310.299.1717 Office
Editor@InvestorBrandNetwork.com

Algernon Receives Clearance from Health Canada for Ifenprodil COVID-19 Phase 2b/3 Multinational Clinical Trial

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CSE: AGN) (FRANKFURT: AGW) (OTCQB: AGNPF) (the “Company” or “Algernon”) a clinical stage pharmaceutical development company, is pleased to announce that it has received a No Objection Letter from Health Canada to proceed with a NP-120 (Ifenprodil) COVID-19 Phase 2b/3 multinational clinical trial. The same study protocol is being prepared for submission to the U.S. FDA and Australian regulatory authorities.

“The study is an adaptive pilot to pivotal trial design based on guidance documents from the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine if Ifenprodil can improve clinical symptoms of COVID-19 by reducing the number of COVID-19 diagnosed patients from progressing to mechanical ventilation with intubation and death.” said Dr. Mark William’s, Algernon’s CSO.

The trial will begin as a Phase 2b study and after an interim analysis is performed on the first 100 patients, the data will determine the number of expected patients needed to reach statistical significance in a Phase 3 trial. With positive preliminary data, the clinical trial will move directly from a Phase 2b into a Phase 3.

“We are very excited to have received clearance for our Phase 2b/3 study,” said Christopher J. Moreau CEO of Algernon. “We will begin to work immediately to get all aspects of the trial organized so that we can start as soon as possible including filing an IND for this same study with the U.S. FDA.”

The Company cautions that while it is preparing to begin a Phase 2 clinical trial shortly in South Korea and Canada, it is not making any express or implied claims that NP-120 (Ifenprodil) is an effective treatment for acute lung injury (ALI), the COVID-19 virus, or any other medical condition at this time.

Phase 2b/3 Study Protocol Overview

The trial will begin as a Phase 2b study enrolling 100 patients with moderate/severe disease, which corresponds with a score of 4 or 5 on the WHO ordinal clinical scale. Patients will be randomized in a 1:1 fashion to receive either standard of care (SOC) or SOC and Ifenprodil 20 mg (three times per day) for a two-week treatment period. An improvement in the ordinal clinical scale is the initial primary endpoint and a number of secondary endpoints including mortality, blood oxygen levels, time in the ICU and time to mechanical ventilation will be studied.

About NP-120 (Ifenprodil)

NP-120 (Ifenprodil) is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist specifically targeting the NMDA-type subunit 2B (Glu2NB). Ifenprodil prevents glutamate signalling. The NMDA receptor is found on many tissues including lung cells and T-cells, neutrophils.

The Company believes NP-120 can reduce the infiltration of neutrophils and T-cells into the lungs where they can release glutamate and cytokines respectively. The latter can result in the highly problematic cytokine storm that contributes to the loss of lung function and ultimately death as has been reported in COVID-19 infected patients.

About Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. 

Algernon is a drug re-purposing company that investigates safe, already approved drugs for new disease applications, moving them efficiently and safely into new human trials, developing new formulations and seeking new regulatory approvals in global markets. Algernon specifically investigates compounds that have never been approved in the U.S. or Europe to avoid off label prescription writing.

Algernon has filed new intellectual property rights globally for NP-120 (Ifenprodil) for the treatment of respiratory diseases and is working to develop a proprietary injectable and slow release formulation.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Christopher J. Moreau
CEO
Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc.
604.398.4175 ext 701
info@algernonpharmaceuticals.com
investors@algernonpharmaceuticals.com
www.algernonpharmaceuticals.com.

The CSE does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Market Regulator (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. The Canadian Securities Exchange has not in any way passed upon the merits of the proposed transaction and has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.

CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: No Securities Exchange has reviewed nor accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release. This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to product development, licensing, commercialization and regulatory compliance issues and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expects” and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include the failure to satisfy the conditions of the relevant securities exchange(s) and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulations. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements as expressly required by applicable law.

No information on reopening of Masjidil Haram and Nabawi Mosque – Dr Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR There is no information regarding the reopening of the Masjidil Haram (Grand Mosque) and the Nabawi Mosque on the eighth day of Ramadan (tomorrow), as claimed by a viral message, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.

Zulkifli said he had contacted Saudi Ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Dr Mahmoud Hussien Saeed Qattan with regards to the claim which was circulated on social media.

“I called the Saudi Ambassador at noon today and asked him about the matter, and he said he does not have the information and so far, based on the latest directive, there is no reopening.

“He also shared that Makkah and Madinah are still under lockdown and only workers and those few people including imams who are on duty at the mosques,” he said in an exclusive interview ‘Ramadan Kali Ini’ (This Ramadan) programme aired on Bernama Radio today.

Today, a message was circulated on social media, claiming that the kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had announced the reopening of the Masjidil Haram and the Nabawi Mosque on the eight of Ramadan along with guidelines and standard operating procedures to be adhered to.

Saudi Arabia decided to suspend umrah pilgrimage to Makkah and visits to the Nabawi Mosque in Madinah at the end of February in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The kingdom halted all international flights in the mid of March as well as barred movement to and from several cities including Makkah and Madinah to prevent the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, on the reopening of mosques and suraus for religious activities including Friday and congregational prayers, Zulkifli said it depends on the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) recommendations.

He said they are currently in discussion to formulate guidelines for congregational prayers.

Zulkifli said it includes Aidlifitri prayers should the Movement Control Order (MCO), scheduled to end on May 12, is extended beyond the festivity.

On March 13, the government decided to suspend all activities at mosques and suraus including Friday and congregational prayers until MCO has been lifted.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Man claims trial to injuring younger brother with machete

IPOH A sports brand company employee was charged in the Sessions Court here today for voluntarily causing grievous hurt to his younger brother with a machete on Friday.

Azli Yusof, 42, pleaded not guilty after the charge was read to him before Judge Meor Sulaiman Ahmad Tarmizi.

The accused allegedly committed the offence on Nazmi, 38, in the kitchen of their mother’s house  at No 1720, Jalan Sekolah Rendah, Kampung Kota Setia, Perak Tengah at 5 pm, on April 24.

He was charged under Section 324 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 326A of the Penal Code which provides for a jail term of up to 10 years or a fine or whipping, or any two of the punishments and imprisonment for a term which may extend to twice of the maximum term for which he would be liable upon conviction for the offence.

Deputy public prosecutor Naidatul Athirah Azman appeared for the prosecution while counsel K. Nathan represented the accused.

The court set bail at RM7,000 with one surety, on condition the accused would not disturb his brother and fixed May 29 for mention .

Azli was then taken to the Batu Gajah Magistrate’s Court on a charge of violating the Movement Control Order (MCO) and sentenced to three days’ jail from the date of arrest which was on Sunday (April 26).

Magistrate Nazratul Natrah Mohd Yusuf handed down the sentence after the accused pleaded guilty to violating Regulation 3 (1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 which is punishable under Rule 11 (1) of the same regulation which carries a maximum fine of RM1,000 or imprisonment up to six months or both.

The prosecution was led by deputy public prosecutor, Nor Fairoz Abd Mutalib while the accused was represented by a lawyer  Parveen Sharma Krishnan from the National Legal Aid Foundation.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency