AiCuris is doubling down on its infectious disease pipeline at the expense of its COVID-19 and foot infection programs.
“Sharpening its strategic focus” on a portfolio of therapies for infectious diseases in immunocompromised patients means the biotech will be able to accelerate development plans and prepare for market launch, the Wuppertal, Germany-based company said in a July 6 release.
The knock-on effect is that AiCuris “will discontinue research activities outside of this strategic scope.” While the company didn’t go into details of what activities will be scrapped, the COVID-19 therapy AIC649 was notable for its absence from today’s release.
The company received 5.9 million EUR ($6.4 million) in funding from a regional German government last year to advance the immune modulator as a potential way to slow progression of COVID-19. The therapy had been undergoing a clinical study in Germany and Africa.
“Unfortunately, anti-infective treatment options for this growing patient population are often limited and few companies are focusing on developing appropriate therapeutic candidates,” AiCuris CEO Larry Edwards said in the release. “This strategic change will allow us to be more efficient and effective from an operations perspective and ensure we are able to bring novel treatment options to patients in need.”
Then there’s AIC468, an anti-sense RNA therapy due to enter the clinic early next year to prevent BK virus infection in kidney transplanted patients. The biotech is also working on preclinical programs designed to combat human adenovirus infections, with a key goal being to develop the first topical treatment specifically designed for ADV infections of the eye.