AIM ImmunoTech Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:AIM) has signed a material transfer and research agreement with Chinese vaping device manufacturer Shenzhen Smoore Technology Limited, allowing the company to analyze one of its devices as a possible delivery for AIM’s flagship drug Ampligen.
AIM believes Ampligen has potential as a prophylactic/early-onset therapeutic against the coronavirus (COVID-19). The drug showed 100% preclinical efficacy against the viral infection in a mouse trial, and it has been generally well tolerated when administered nasally to humans.
The agreement allows AIM to conduct research in China on the efficacy of the Smoore inhalation device as a delivery method for Ampligen.
READ: AIM ImmunoTech seeking clinical trials to assess Ampligen as a potential protective and early-onset treatment for coronavirus
“We believe that Ampligen, when administered deep into the lungs at the first signs of the disease via the Smoore device — designed to carefully distribute different-sized particles of Ampligen — may initiate a therapeutic TLR3 response throughout the upper and lower respiratory system that will stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus in its tracks," AIM CEO Thomas Equels said in a statement.
“If we can make the administration of Ampligen as easy as vaping and delivering nicotine, and testing proves Ampligen has COVID-19 efficacy as a prophylaxis, then this combination has the potential to be a powerful and easily self-administered tool in the global effort to stop the COVID-19 pandemic."
Smoore is the world’s largest vaping device manufacturer, according to the research firm Frost and Sullivan.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to work with AIM in exploring the medical inhalation of Ampligen in the combat of COVID-19 pandemic,” Smoore Chief Science Officer Zhiqiang Shi said. “We believe conventional medical inhalation devices can be miniaturized and mass produced with better dosage and aerosol particle size control with our proprietary technology.
“Given the pre-clinical protective efficacy against SARS-CoV-1 viral infection and human safety data established by our partner, with proper vaporization of Ampligen via an easy-to-use device, we see a potential to help more people in the world in combating the current COVID-19 pandemic, and this collaboration represents an important first step."
National Cancer Institute grant
AIM also announced that the National Cancer Institute awarded $14.5 million to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to test chemokine modulation incorporating Ampligen as an immunomodulator.
Chemokine modulation is a process designed to enhance the effectiveness of common immunotherapies and create new, life-saving combination therapies.
The grant will fund five clinical trials in patients with colorectal, ovarian or melanoma tumors.
Roswell Park will host three studies, and its partners at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will conduct two ovarian cancer studies. The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai is also a collaborator.
Pawel Kalinski, who will lead the multi-center team from Roswell Park, is optimistic about Ampligen's efficacy.
"Ampligen is a unique and highly selective immune system modulator that can be an important component of chemokine modulation therapy, one of the available strategies for converting cancers that are traditionally checkpoint-resistant into treatable, ‘hot' tumors so that more patients will be able to benefit from some of the most commonly prescribed immunotherapies," Kalinski said.
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