European Commission nominates MetrioPharm with Covid project "iMPact" to the list of the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) funded projects
MetrioPharm AG, a pharmaceutical company developing drugs for chronic inflammatory diseases, has been nominated to receive funding under the HERA Incubator from the European Commission under Grant Agreement number 101046182. MetrioPharm's iMPact project is one of 11 consortia and research initiatives selected to work on vaccines, therapies and other medical measures targeting the Corona virus and its mutations.
The European Commission's funding program was launched in April 2021 to support urgently needed research and development across Europe to combat the corona virus and its variants. MetrioPharm AG, as consortium leader with the project "iMPact", is one of 6 initiatives nominated by the Commission to work on drug candidates for the treatment of SARS-CoV2. In the iMPact project, MetrioPharm has joined forces with three partner companies, Catalyze, MC Toxicology Consulting and ImmunoLogik, aiming to prepare a large-scale Covid research project which will include conducting a Phase II clinical proof-of-concept study of MetrioPharm’s lead compound MP1032 against COVID-19. MP1032 has demonstrated both, strong immunomodulatory and specific antiviral properties against SARS-CoV-2 in preclinical studies.
MetrioPharm CEO Dr. Wolfgang Brysch commented, "We are very pleased with the announcement by the European Commission and the vote of confidence in our compound MP1032. The MetrioPharm team considers the decision as support for the pharmaceutical development steps already taken, and going forward for MP1032 in countering COVID-19. In view of a potential fourth wave in the fall, despite increasing vaccination rates, we should always keep in mind that better therapeutic options must be an essential part of the pandemic response. We develop our immunomodulator MP1032 to alleviate COVID-19 symptoms and shorten hospitalizations."
MP1032 is a member of a new class of small molecule ROS scavengers that is targeted at activated macrophages and inflamed tissues. The molecule acts as a self-regulating modulator of cellular oxidative stress: due to its molecular structure, MP1032 is active when it is exposed to elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The molecule changes from its inert state (inactive) to a deprotonated form (activated), in this process ROS are neutralized. Due to its self-regulated mode of activation, the effect of MP1032 is limited solely to the site of inflammation.
MP1032 acts at the top of the inflammatory cascade and has demonstrated broad anti-inflammatory and anti-infective activity in animal models, as well as an excellent safety profile in preclinical and clinical studies. Since 2021, MetrioPharm is testing MP1032 in an international Phase II clinical trial in the indication COVID-19.
The HERA Incubator
The EU Commission has set up a European preparedness plan for biological hazards associated with COVID-19 variants, the so-called "HERA Incubator". HERA stands for "European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority." In the HERA Incubator, researchers, biotech companies, manufacturers and authorities from the EU and around the world work together to detect new virus variants, create incentives for the development of new and adapted drugs and vaccines, accelerate approval procedures and expand production capacities.