Poolbeg Pharma, an infectious disease firm spun out from Irish vaccine research company Open Orphan, has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
he US patent is related to methods introduced by Poolbeg to treat hypercytokinaemia, a severe immune reaction in the body that causes the release of too many pro-inflammatory signalling molecules called cytokines into the blood.
This can occur due to viral infection, such as severe influenza, cancer or other autoimmune responses.
The company is currently developing a small molecule immunomodulator which addresses the medical need arising from severe influenza and other acute inflammatory conditions by reducing the body’s hyperinflammatory response.
Poolbeg currently has a worldwide license for the use of the molecule immunomodulator, known as POLB 001, in all humans.
It also has an existing European patent for a mitogen activated protein kinase inhibitor used to treat severe influenza, with the USPTO now approving the inhibitor for use there.
“We are expanding our IP portfolio across the globe, allowing us to continue advancing and protecting our programmes for the treatment or prevention of severe influenza and hypercytokinaemia,” chief executive Jeremy Skillington said.
“Enhanced IP protection of our assets across key markets, such as the US, increases the overall value and attractiveness of these products to potential partners.”
Last week, the company also reported that it had recorded positive data from a human challenge trial of POLB 001 related to treating severe influenza.
A total of 36 volunteers aged 18 to 55 completed the trial, with those treated with POLB 001 exhibiting a marked reduction in markers of inflammation compared with placebo.