Candidate POLB 001 demonstrates potential in treating multiple influenza conditions

Poolbeg Pharma – a company focused on developing infectious disease therapies – has announced data from its bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) human challenge trial for POLB 001.

The treatment is a viral strain agnostic, small molecule immunomodulator which is being developed to address meet medical needs emerging from severe influenza and other acute inflammatory conditions. Indeed, POLB 001 selectively inhibits overwhelming inflammation in viral infections, while leaving necessary immune functions intact to fight the infection.

The study was completed by a group of 36 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55. Those treated with POLB 001 exhibited a significant reduction in multiple markers of systemic and localised inflammation when compared with the placebo.

Furthermore, the treatment reduced body temperature and C-reactive protein levels, demonstrated safety and was generally well tolerated. Pivotally, it also had a potent effect in systemic and localised inflammatory response.

Jeremy Skillington, chief executive officer at Poolbeg Pharma, was impressed by the initial results: “POLB 001 blocks inflammation both locally and systemically and in a manner that suggests efficacy in treating life-threatening infections such as severe influenza or the CRS associated with other acute inflammatory conditions.”

He added: “POLB 001 has the potential to be an effective treatment in a wide range of inflammatory syndromes that present serious and life-threatening complications for patients. Due to our parallel clinical programmes with POLB 001 we are particularly excited that these results support continued clinical investigation in both indications, and that we can share this positive data with potential Pharma partners ahead of schedule.”

Derek Gilroy, professor of immunology at University College London, concluded: “The COVID-19 pandemic, more than anything in recent memory, has shown how bereft we are of the medicines needed to treat infections, and stop our immune system from killing us. With such pandemics increasing in frequency, it’s only a matter of time before we face yet another crisis.”