New partnership to explore potential biodefence applications for FX-06

Under a licensing and collaboration agreement, Partner Therapeutics will evaluate whether FX-06 could be used to treat multiple biothreats of interest to the US Government.

Line up of Chemical hazard pictograms with Toxic skull and cross bones infocus

Partner Therapeutics Inc. (PTx) has signed a licensing and collaboration agreement with SIRS Therapeutics and F4 Pharma to support the development of FX-06. FX-06 a synthetic peptide being developed to combat diseases associated with capillary leak that has a broad spectrum of potential indications, including as a medical countermeasure against high priority biothreats such as chemical agents and acute radiation exposure.

Currently SIRS and F4 Pharma are focusing on the potential for FX-06 to treat patients with COVID-19. FX-06 is a fibrin-derived peptide (peptide Bβ 15–42) that binds to VE-Cadherin, thereby restoring the barrier function of the endothelium, preventing vascular leak and leukocyte transmigration. Alongside its application in COVID-19, FX-06 is also anticipated to mitigate the duration and severity of haemorrhage and accelerate recovery from barrier integrity loss resulting from chemical agents and acute radiation exposure.

Under the agreement, PTx plans to accelerate the development of FX-06 as a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical prototype for the treatment of multiple biothreats of interest to the US Government. The company is already clinically evaluating the potential of a different agent, Leukine®, to combat COVID-19 under a $35 million development contract with the Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office – Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (JPEO-CBRN). Leukine was FDA-approved for the treatment of the haematological damage due to acute radiation exposure under an advanced development contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and is held in the Strategic National Stockpile for use in this indication.

“We are excited to work with Partner Therapeutics, given their impressive track record in late-stage development in the area of medical countermeasures for biothreats and their industry experienced development team,” said Anne Burger, Chief Executive Officer of SIRS Therapeutics.

Petra Wülfroth, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of F4 Pharma, added: “The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has highlighted the public vulnerability caused by viruses; however, other biological or chemical threat agents can also evolve into a major public concern. FX-06 has a broad applicability in diseases and pathological conditions caused by systemic inflammation and increased permeability of the blood vessels… We believe its mechanism of action makes it promising tool to protect people.”

“FX-06 has been shown to counteract vascular leak and its fatal consequences from a variety of causes including thrombin, oxygen radicals, bacteria and viruses. Efficacy has been demonstrated in animal models of septic shock, haemorrhagic shock, dengue shock syndrome, capillary leak, haemorrhagic fever, reperfusion injury, transplantation and acute lung injury,” said Dr Debasish Roychowdhury, Chief Technology Officer at Partner Therapeutics. “We look forward to the opportunity to further explore the utility of FX-06 as a solution to the high priority threats identified by the US Government.”