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AB Science and University of Chicago to conduct Covid-19 treatment research

French pharmaceutical company AB Science has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the University of Chicago to conduct research for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 with masitinib and its other proprietary drugs.

French pharmaceutical company AB Science has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the University of Chicago to conduct research for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 with masitinib and its other proprietary drugs.
Recently, the university discovered that masitinib inhibits the main protease (3CLpro), which is required to block the replication of SARS-CoV-2.
Under the terms of the deal, the French company will be responsible for the supply of masitinib and over 130 of its other proprietary drugs, which have demonstrated activity against SARS-CoV-2 main protease 3CL-Pro through virtual screening methodology.
Using the proprietary research platform, the University of Chicago will enhance the preclinical programme of masitinib against SARS-CoV-2. It will also investigate the use of masitinib against other viruses that depend on protease 3CL-Pro for replication.
Additionally, the university will test and identify analogues of masitinib, which are active against SARS-CoV-2 protease 3CL-Pro.
AB Science and the University of Chicago will also combine their patent rights related to masitinib or masitinib analogues that are related to virology applications to secure and consolidate patent positions.
The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation worked with the researchers to file the associated patents and then completed the license agreement with AB Science.
AB Science noted that if any products are discovered using AB Science products and then commercialised in viral disease, AB Science will have to pay 1% of net sales on the first registered product and 0.3% of net sales for other registered products to the University of Chicago.
University of Chicago researcher Nir Drayman said: “We are delighted to work with AB Science on this global programme. The discovery of masitinib as an anti-protease against multiple coronaviruses is a major discovery.
“Masitinib should be a priority drug to develop against Covid-19 and future emerging viruses. Unfortunately, this pandemic is not over, and the world urgently needs anti-virals to combat this virus, and masitinib is a very promising candidate.”