CALGARY, AB. and BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Skymount Medical, a drug discovery company, and Louisiana State University (LSU) announced today that human studies have begun on its unique combination of therapies, known as SM-19, for COVID-19 patients. In vitro (cell) and in vivo (animal) assays conducted by the IIT Research Institute (IITRI) in Chicago showed significant efficacy in reducing viral load of SARS-Cov-2 virus.
The therapeutics were discovered using an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that drastically reduces the time to drug discovery. The AI predicted up to 97 percent efficacy, which was confirmed by pre-clinical cell and animal results. The medications being investigated are already FDA approved for other conditions, which will greatly accelerate the time for SM-19 to become widely available.
At this time, there are no approved oral medications to reduce COVID-19 symptoms in people who are not hospitalized. The SM-19 treatment was designed to be effective against several COVID-19 variants, decreases viral load, and reduces the duration of symptoms.
The approach is to treat adult patients at the first sign of infection to avoid hospitalization and eliminate ICU visits. The compassionate use studies began yesterday in Europe and are expected to continue throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Brazil.
“Early animal testing was very promising. We are optimistic that the treatments will reduce extreme symptoms in humans and the need for hospitalizations,” states Dr. Kishor M. Wasan, co-inventor and chief medical and scientific officer (CMO/CSO) for Skymount Medical. “These experimental outcomes provide a complement approach to the current COVID-19 vaccine strategy that is cost-effective, safe, and accessible to patients.”
Dr. Wasan is also a Distinguished University Scholar Adjunct Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is co-director and co-founder of the Neglected Global Diseases Initiative at UBC.
“The discovery of these medications came through a highly unique and novel process fusing AI with traditional wet lab pharmacology,” said Chris Galliano, co-inventor and chief technology officer of Skymount Medical. “The LSU DeepDrug team’s AI-based drug discovery platform has enabled us to target viral entry, fusion, and replication and directly address symptoms using a time-saving drug re-purposing strategy.”
Skymount Medical and LSU are working in partnership on COVID-19 treatments discovered using AI. DeepDrug™️ is an AI platform that identifies and develops novel therapeutics. It was created by an interdisciplinary team of Louisiana State University researchers led by Dr. Supratik Mukhopadhyay, co-inventor and associate professor in the LSU Department of Computer Science. The world-leading AI platform was a semi-finalist in the IBM Watson AI X-Prize, a $5 million award for using AI to tackle global challenges.
“Starting human studies is exciting because we wouldn’t be at this step if early studies didn’t indicate high levels of efficacy and validate the data produced by AI,” says Mukhopadhyay. “We are extremely pleased that within 13 months of starting the drug discovery process we could move to human studies. We could not have accomplished this without AI.”
The compassionate use study in Europe is a double blinded, randomized, multi-center, controlled study to evaluate safety and efficacy of SM-19 compared to placebo in the treatment of COVID-19 positive adult patients.
“The LSU DeepDrug and Skymount collaboration is an excellent example of how universities can partner with industry to put science to work for the good of us all and provide critical solutions when people most need them,” said Samuel J. Bentley, LSU vice president of research and economic development. “This is the role a flagship university is meant to play—to better the condition of our citizens through the application of great research.”
About Skymount Medical
Skymount Medical is a technology company that uses DeepDrug™️, a patent-pending artificial intelligence platform, to drastically reduce drug discovery time and is developing treatments for COVID-19. Skymount Medical and LSU have 60 candidates that can be used in combination therapy against all coronavirus including SARS, MERS, SARSCOV-2 and future SARSCOV strains. In addition to commercializing its COVID-19 treatment and testing candidates for the treatment of other coronaviruses, Skymount Medical is planning to develop therapeutics for some of the world’s most fierce infectious diseases including Ebola and new antibiotics which target antibiotic resistant bacteria and rare diseases such as ALS, MS and others.
SOURCE Skymount Medical