NEW YORK, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOTH), a biopharmaceutical company, today announced licensing technology and intellectual property exclusively from Virginia Commonwealth University ("VCU") for a novel peptide therapeutic to prevent spike protein binding, which may be a leading cause of COVID-19, and slow its transmission.
The research is being led by inventor Michael H. Peters, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering at VCU, College of Engineering, and is being aided, in part, by powerful supercomputers as part of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium through a virtual system that scientists can use to interactively share computing resources known as the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment. The consortium is a private-public partnership that includes the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and major technology corporations.
SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 attaches to and enters cells through the binding of its perfusion Spike Protein to the cell surface receptor Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 is a protein found on the surface of lung alveolar cells, cells of the small intestine, and arteriole cells making it highly dispersed throughout the body. Because of the wide-spread dispersion of ACE2 within the body, there are numerous opportunities for SARS-CoV-2 to infiltrate the body.
The spike in protein plays an important role in attaching to human cells and infecting the body. Researchers at VCU have developed at novel peptide that binds with extremely high affinity to SD1 segment of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mimicking its attachment to ACE2. This high binding affinity helps block the spike protein from attaching to the ACE2 surface receptor, thus limiting the transmission of the virus. Further development of the novel peptide can also allow a novel target for the SARS-CoV-2.
Dr. Peters commented, "The spike protein of the novel corona virus SARS-Cov-2 associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic uses a specific receptor on human epithelial cells, called ACE2, for its fusion and infection process. This therapeutic development effort exploits the unusually strong and unique binding of the SARS-Cov-2 spike protein to ACE2 to develop safe and effective peptide 'decoys' that have the potential to preferentially bind to the spike protein and prevent fusion and infection."
"Computer modeling of SARS-CoV-2's spike protein is an important step in finding ways to prevent the virus from binding to ACE2 receptors and allowing the virus to replicate," said Ivelina Metcheva, Ph.D., Senior Executive Director of VCU's Innovation Gateway. "We are very excited to assist Dr. Peter's collaboration with Hoth Therapeutics to develop potentially life-saving therapy for COVID-19."
"My team and Board have continued to see remarkable technologies that could have potential breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19," said Robb Knie, CEO of Hoth Therapeutics. "Dr. Peters and his team have been working diligently on analyzing data surrounding the theory of SARS-CoV-2's spike protein, its potential effect on COVID-19 and developing a therapeutic that would be effective in limiting transmission of the virus."
About Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new generation therapies for dermatological disorders. HOTH's pipeline has the potential to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from indications including atopic dermatitis, chronic wounds, psoriasis, asthma and acne. Hoth has recently entered into a Joint Development Agreement to further the development of vaccine prospects to prevent, intercept or treat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) based upon VaxCelerate, a self-assembling vaccine (SAV) platform exclusively licensed by Voltron from the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). To learn more, please visit www.hoththerapeutics.com.
Forward Looking Statements This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements that relate to the joint venture and the preclinical development of technology for COVID-19 and the potential development of products related to COVID-19 and other information that is not historical information. When used herein, words such as "anticipate", "being", "will", "plan", "may", "continue", and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements or information that refer to expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, performance or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking. All forward-looking statements are based upon Hoth's current expectations and various assumptions. Hoth believes there is a reasonable basis for its expectations and beliefs, but they are inherently uncertain. Hoth may not realize its expectations, and its beliefs may not prove correct. Actual results could differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, market conditions and the factors described under the caption "Risk Factors" in Hoth's Form 10K for the period ending December 31, 2019, and Hoth's other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Consequently, forward-looking statements should be regarded solely as Hoth's current plans, estimates and beliefs. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Hoth cannot guarantee future results, events, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Hoth does not undertake and specifically declines any obligation to update, republish, or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrences of unanticipated events, except as may be required by law.