January 18, 2022

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Pittsburgh Biotech Co. Begins Trials For New Coronavirus Drug

PITTSBURGH, PA — A Pittsburgh-based company is working on the development of a new coronavirus treatment.

The North Side-based CytoAgents has begun its Phase 1 clinical trial for GP1681, which combats “cytokine storm. ” Clinically known as hypercytokinemia, the storm comes in the form of a severe immune reaction.

GP1681, a small molecule inhibitor of cytokine release, addresses an unmet need for therapeutic treatment. It has been shown to tamp down various cytokines and address the underlying cause of life-threatening symptoms associated with cytokine storm.

GP1681 will be an affordable, oral therapeutic and an important component of a multi-faceted treatment plan, according to CytoAgents CEO Teresa Whalen.

The Phase 1 Trial — a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the safety and tolerability of GP1681 in healthy adults — is being conducted in partnership with contract research organization, Novotech, and clinical trial unit, CMAX Clinical Research in Australia.

“The world has an urgent need for new COVID-19 treatments, in addition to testing and vaccines,” Whalen said in a news release.

“Our clinical trial is designed to evaluate the use of GP1681 as a potential new, cost-effective, shelf-stable, oral drug to treat cytokine storm. “We are building a powerful treatment platform for respiratory illness that ultimately creates a lasting solution first for COVID-19 cytokine storm and then for a pipeline of indications.”

CytoAgents is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative pharmaceutical products for the treatment of cytokine storm related to infectious disease, such as COVID-19 and influenza.

CytoAgents is conducting the research and development of the coronavirus in partnership with Innovation Works, a member of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners. The partners are one of the nation’s longest-running technology-based economic development programs.

This article originally appeared on the Pittsburgh Patch

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