Drawing on decades long experience in infectious disease research and product development, CEBINA’s team is active in developing a portfolio of innovative research projects.
The antihistamine azelastine as an anti-COVID-19 approach
As a short-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CEBINA, in collaboration with Professor Robert Konrat, a renowned structural biologist (Department of Structural and Computational Biology, University of Vienna, Austria) has applied a novel computational approach to identify compounds to be repurposed as anti-COVID-19 drugs. This approach lead to the identification of azelastine, a generic anti-histamine medication available as nasal spray. The potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of azelastine was demonstrated with in vitro viral infection testing and in a reconstituted human nasal tissue model, performed in collaboration with Professor Ferenc Jakab, Head of the BSL-4 Laboratory in the Szentágothai Research Center, University of Pécs, Hungary (https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.15.296228).
Status (Q1 2021): CEBINA is performing a proof-of-concept clinical trial to confirm the efficacy of azelastine against nasal colonization and has signed an agreement for clinical testing and distribution of an anti-COVID-19 azelastine nasal spray in Europe.
CEBINA has designed a Coronavirus vaccine that is fundamentally different from the current vaccine efforts already in advanced stages. While current vaccine approaches are mainly based solely on the Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 and use novel technologies which have not been extensively tested for safety in human studies, CEBINA’s approach is based on a subunit, recombinant protein-based vaccine approach and is designed to avoid the risk of inducing disease-enhancing antibodies. Our subunit vaccine is based on vaccine antigens that are predicted to induce protective immunity in current and future Coronavirus outbreaks.
Status (Q4 2020): CEBINA has received seed funding for proof-of-concept studies, that will allow progress to pre-clinical development.