Covicept Therapeutics Inc., a young San Diego-based company focused on developing a small molecule to inhibit the replication and spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses, has launched with $2.3 million in seed funding from European VC firm Forbion. The company, spun out of research at the University of California, San Diego, aims to initiate its first clinical study in the middle of 2021.
In a flurry of catch-up following the coronavirus outbreak in China, a number of biopharma companies have announced development within the last few weeks to address the ever-spreading infection known as COVID-19.
BEIJING – While repurposing drugs may be a quick solution to an epidemic like COVID-19 that has a limited research window, it’s just luck as to whether an already available drug candidate exists for newly emergent diseases. Experts say it’s more realistic to develop better drugs instead of attempting to repurpose old ones.
SEATTLE – Tracing the family tree of COVID-19 through its evolving DNA sequence makes it possible to disprove many false claims circulating on social media about the novel coronavirus, and, in particular, that it was generated in a covert biological weapons program. “From everything I’ve looked at, there is zero evidence for genetic engineering; it looks like normal evolution,” said Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who has been using genomes sequences taken from patient samples to track the spread of the virus since Jan. 11.