Forbion injects $2.3Mn in CoviCept to develop treatment against COVID-19

Prominent European life sciences venture capital company- Forbion has reportedly announced an investment of USD 2.3 million in CoviCept Therapeutics Inc. – a California headquartered firm that develops small molecules which inhibits the replication of the novel coronavirus and other RNA viruses.

Seemingly, the company’s lead molecule comprises of a unique mechanism of action which is primarily based on the interference of host cell protein and is also expected to carry a low risk of viral resistance.

In addition to the above, the molecule has also demonstrated to inhibit COVID-19 replication in a relevant mammalian model at a clinically-approved dose. A manufacturing process for the compound has been set up and has also showcased favorable bioavailability and safety in humans during the phase 1 of clinical trial.

Incorporated in the year 2020, CoviCept was founded by Philip Gordts, Jeffrey Esko, and Sam Tsimikas, an alumnus of the University of California, San Diego. The firm is working towards initiating a first clinical trial in the second half of 2021.  

Professor Tsimikas, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO of CoviCept, was reportedly quoted stating that the latest investment will help the company develop direct therapeutic variants to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as, other RNA viruses. Forbion will extend the required financial and management support to allow the company attain Phase 2 proof of concept data, he further added.

According to Sander Van Deventer, Operating Partner, Forbion, the investment marks Forbion’s efforts to support responsible drug development. RNA viruses like COVID-19, SARS-CoV-1, Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, and MERS-CoV are some of most likely causes of pandemic in the future.

A small molecule like that developed by CoviCept could be stockpiled and made immediately available and may also be used in various viruses, and will prove to be extremely beneficial to global health, Deventer stated.

Reportedly, the board of directors of CoviCept include Jeffrey Esko, Philip Gordts, Sam Tsimikas, and   Sander van Deventer from Forbion.

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