Moleculin Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ: MBRX) joins the ever-expanding list of coronavirus stocks as the company announced that a second round of independent laboratory testing has confirmed the antiviral activity of WP1122 against coronavirus.
The company contracted with IIT Research Institute for additional in vitro testing of its drug candidate in development as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Importantly, the growth medium in the testing assay was chosen carefully to reflect the levels of glucose normally found in humans rather than the artificially high levels of glucose often used to accelerate in vitro testing.
Management noting that having validation in yet another virus host cell line provides additional confidence in the antiviral activity. Also, using a different independent lab from the last testing that was done provides further validation.
Additionally, Walter Klemp, board chair and chief executive, pointed out that the firm is gaining confidence that in vitro testing results for this class of compounds are significantly affected by the concentration of natural glucose in the microenvironment present during viral replication and continued infection.
WP1122 is just one compound in the company’s broad portfolio of molecules in this class of antimetabolites. Moleculin is also testing other compounds in the portfolio against COVID-19.
Based on feedback from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the firm believes it may need to demonstrate activity in a COVID-19 animal model to successfully submit a request for Investigational New Drug Application (IND) status for WP1122. Additionally, the Moleculin Biotech has also contracted with the IIT Research Institute to conduct preclinical toxicology testing, which is currently underway.
Moleculin Biotech stock traded up about 32% to $1.46 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $0.32 to $1.97. The consensus price target is $3.33.