InVixa and University of California, Davis sign licensing deal

InVixa is finalising its pre-clinical testing to progress its lead development candidate into human clinical testing. The company expects results from these pre-clinical studies in early 2021 to inform the planning of forthcoming human clinical trials later in 2021

InVixa has signed an exclusive licensing deal with the University of California, Davis. COVID-19 typically manifests as severe lung disease that can progress to acute respiratory failure. The deal provides InVixa with the rights to the intellectual property in order to commercialise inhaled statins for the treatment of COVID-19 and other viral-based respiratory diseases.

InVixa’s co-founder and Chief Medical Officer, Associate Professor Dr Amir A. Zeki, an expert in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UC Davis, said, “InVixa is developing inhaled statin therapies that could treat severe lung disease caused by COVID-19. Our initial focus will be to treat hospitalised patients to prevent progression to respiratory failure using our novel inhaled statin formulation. There is also longer-term potential to develop treatments for those with mild symptoms in the outpatient setting, as we currently do for influenza. We’re delighted to have a license with UC Davis given their commitment to fostering new discoveries and innovation, their ongoing support as a leading academic institution, and their dedication to improving health in our society particularly in the wake of this global pandemic.”

David Lubarsky, Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and CEO of UC Davis Health, said: “This is another excellent example of leveraging UC Davis Health’s scientific resources and entrepreneurial spirit to explore solutions for crucial health care needs. I applaud Dr. Zeki and his team for pursuing novel approaches based on their direct clinical experiences and research. There is a tremendous need to help patients facing respiratory failure, which has been the leading cause of mortality for patients with COVID-19.”

Given that oral statins are one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world with extensive safety data available, InVixa’s inhaled product has a rapid route to market with label expansion opportunities.

The technology is based on using statins delivered using inhalation devices, rather than swallowing a pill, to get the drug directly into the nose and lungs. The company says this method is more effective and efficient to treat the respiratory illness caused by SARS-CoV-2.

Statins inhibit the mevalonate pathway, a fundamental metabolic cascade that is involved in numerous pathological processes in the body. By blocking this pathway in part, inhaled statins are predicted to dampen lung inflammation and reduce COVID-19 disease severity.