Company behind Australian Covid therapeutic anticipates human trials this year


University of Melbourne spinout business Esfam Biotech says it is on schedule to begin human trials of their new Covid-19 therapy in 2021.

Esfam is a drug discovery company, listed elsewhere as having a focus on “small molecule inhibitors” to treat advanced prostate cancer.
Its newer COVID-19 treatment is described on its website as “a panel of molecules” that are believed to block the Sars-Cov-2 virus from binding to and damaging cells.

“We see our treatment as working side by side with vaccines, by hopefully providing protection against current and future COVID-19 variants, and helping to restore a sense of  normalcy worldwide,” Director and CEO Professor Albert Frauman said.

He added that the therapeutic was designed specifically for Covid-19, unlike repurposed therapies (for example remdesivir and ivermectin) and could provide treatment for early or milder forms of the disease, as well as for hospitalised patients.

According to Esfam, the treatment has been tested successfully in computer simulations and through cell-based and animal testing. It is currently being tested as an injectable treatment with research underway on an inhaler administered version. 

“This novel therapeutic agent shows very significant promise as both a preventative and treatment for SARS-CoV-2,” added Professor Jeffrey D Zajac, Academic Lead Medicine (Austin), University of Melbourne.


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