Sosei Group Corporation has recently received additional grant funding for a project aimed at fighting against covid through the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator – a philantropic collaboration launched in March 2020 by Wellcome, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mastercard. Fidelta is one of the collaborators on this Sosei Heptares-led initiative, which also involves companies such as Syngene International, Domainex, o2h Discovery, Piramal, WuXi AppTec and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DND i ).The programme was initiated in April 2020 with a goal to design drug candidates with a property of selectively inhibiting the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 – Mpro.
Fidelta was involved in the project from the very beginning by proposing and setting up BSL2 viral assays on human corona viruses, which share targeted features of SARS-CoV2. It significantly contributed to the project progression since BSL3 facilities, which are required for SARS-COV2 testing, were fully occupied for very long period due to the pandemics. Fidelta performed a testing of the compounds generated within the project, identified several active molecules and enabled selection of the candidate molecule which was, in the next step, tested against SARS-CoV2 both in vitro and in vivo.
The most advanced candidate resulting from this program, SH-879, has demonstrated potent anti-viral activity against SARS-CoV-2, as well as potential for oral dosing and a differentiated profile from other anti-viral drugs for COVID-19 that are either approved or in late-stage development.
Sosei Heptares will deploy the funding from Wellcome to accelerate development of SH-879 and other potential candidates through preclinical studies, targeting the nomination of a single clinical candidate for human trials with a convenient dosing regime and the potential for use without the need for co-dosing with other anti-viral therapies.
Fidelta will continue to participate in this collaboration, with more work planned in Q1 2022.