Anixa Biosciences and MolGenie Announce that their COVID-19 Compounds are Expected to be Effective Against the Omicron Variant

Dec. 7, 2021 Anixa Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANIX), a biotechnology company focused on the treatment and prevention of cancer and infectious diseases, today announced the results of a genomic variant analysis done with its partner, MolGenie GmbH, on potential compounds to treat COVID-19. The data indicate that the compounds in development should be effective against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, in addition to the previously identified Delta variant of the virus. 

“Anixa’s COVID-19 program is designed to identify compounds that will be effective against all variants. As new variants of concern arise, we continually seek to analyze them to determine if our compounds may be effective against them,” said Dr. Amit Kumar, President and CEO of Anixa Biosciences. “We previously conducted an analysis suggesting our compounds would be effective against the Delta variant and are pleased that the results from our latest analysis indicate that they should also be effective against the Omicron variant. The threat of COVID-19 and emerging variants is very real and Anixa will continue to modify our strategy as needed to support ongoing efforts to combat the virus.”

While vaccination has proven to be an effective strategy to prevent COVID-19, the need still exists for inexpensive, room-temperature-stable and orally-bioavailable therapeutics. Anixa and MolGenie are developing compounds for the potential treatment of COVID-19 with the long-term goal of developing an inexpensive, orally-administered room temperature-stable pill for the outpatient setting. The program focuses on identifying novel, small molecule inhibitors of Mpro, the main protease of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is necessary for replication. The current compounds that Anixa and MolGenie have synthesized and tested have demonstrated the ability to inhibit the function of this protein with excellent potency comparable to and in one case better than authorized therapies.

In order to evaluate the efficacy of these compounds against the Omicron variant, Anixa and MolGenie performed an analysis of the corresponding Mpro enzyme of the variant. The Omicron variant incorporates over 50 mutations, including more than 30 in the spike protein. Several of these mutations are found in the receptor binding domain. However, no significant mutations are found in or near the active site of the Mpro enzyme, therefore Anixa believes its compounds should be effective against this variant.

Dr. Lutz Weber, President and Chief Executive Officer of MolGenie, added, “We have identified and synthesized several compounds that exhibit potency against the Mpro enzyme in in-vitro biological assays. We are now initiating comprehensive pharmacokinetic analyses of these compounds to evaluate their suitability as therapies. We look forward to continuing to work with Anixa on developing a therapy that would add to the arsenal needed to combat this virus.” 

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