Senhwa Biosciences Silmitasertib Named as Potential COVID-19 Therapy

Senhwa Biosciences Silmitasertib Named as Potential COVID-19 Therapy

SAN DIEGO, March 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Senhwa Biosciences, Inc. (TPEx: 6492) announced today that its drug Silmitasertib (CX-4945) was determined to be a potential treatment for COVID-19. To date, COVID-19, has infected over 700,000 people and killed over 34,000 people worldwide. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 respiratory disease with currently no proven treatment or cure.

According to the latest research publication: A SARS-CoV-2-Human Protein-Protein Interaction Map Reveals Drug Targets and Potential Drug-Repurposing by the University of California San Francisco, Quantitative Biosciences Institute (UCSF-QBI), researchers noted that by inhibiting CK2, COVID-19’s cellular environment could potentially shift into a more antiviral state.  Specifically, the disruption of CK2, promotes the formation of Stress Granules (SGs), resulting in the inhibition of COVID-19 proliferation.  Senhwa’s Silmitasertib is a targeted inhibitor of Casein kinase 2 (CK2) and is the only CK2 inhibitor presently in the clinical trials.

QBI Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG) consisted of 22 leading laboratories at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).  They identified 332 high-confidence SARS-CoV-2-human protein-protein interactions (PPIs).  Among these PPIs, the group identified 66 drug responsive human proteins or host factors targeted by 69 existing FDA-approved drugs, drugs in clinical trials and/or preclinical compounds.  Senhwa’s CK2 inhibitor, Silmitasertib is one of the 69 potential drugs named by QCRG and is currently in several clinical trials.

Senhwa is aggressively seeking a collaboration to develop critical treatments to fight COVID-19.  Upon meeting specific criteria, Dr. Tai-Sen Soong, the CEO of Senhwa Biosciences, announced that Senhwa will provide Silmitasertib free of charge to any hospitals, physicians or research units that elect to treat COVID-19 patients with Silmitasertib and/or for research in combating COVID-19.

Silmitasertib is currently in three clinical trials including: a Phase II randomized trial for cholangiocarcinoma in the US, South Korea, and Taiwan; a Phase I/II clinical trial for medulloblastoma (MB), sponsored by the National Institute of Health-Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC, US); and a Phase I study for advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC).  Silmitasertib has proven to be safe and well-tolerated in humans.

About Silmitasertib 

Silmitasertib is a first-in-class small molecule drug that targets Casein Kinase 2 (CK2), a protein involved in the DNA repair mechanism of cancer cells.  A Phase I/II study has shown that Silmitasertib achieved clinical benefit as a single-agent CK2 inhibitor, resulting in stable disease and allowing extended duration of treatment in several patients.  The combination of Silmitasertib with DNA-damaging agents such as gemcitabine (Gemzar) plus cisplatin (Platinol) has been shown to synergistically improve the efficacy of Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) treatments.  In December 2016, Silmitasertib was granted Orphan Drug Designation by the US FDA for the treatment of CCA.

About Senhwa

Senhwa Biosciences, Inc. (TPEx: 6492) is a leading clinical stage company focusing on developing first-in-class, Next Generation DNA Damage Response (DDR) therapeutics for patients with unmet medical needs in oncology.  Headquartered in Taiwan, with an operational base in San Diego, California, Senhwa is well positioned to oversee the development of their compounds.

Development is currently focused on two lead products Silmitasertib (CX-4945) and Pidnarulex (CX-5461) with novel mechanisms of action (MOA) and for multiple indications.  Clinical trials are ongoing in Australia, Canada, United States, Korea and Taiwan, with more currently in development. 

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Source: Senhwa Biosciences, Inc.