New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - June 17, 2021) - PCG Digital -- Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (NASDAQ: LEXX) hit a major milestone this week with their patented DehydraTECHTM technology. An IC50 in vitro study was completed with COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 antivirals Remdesivir and Ebastine and concluded that their formulation and processing methodology "did not negate the known efficacy of those compounds."
"This test is conducted as a pass/fail," said Chris Bunka, CEO of Lexaria Bioscience. "We needed to know if DehydraTECHTM interferes in any way with the effects these drugs have on the virus. It doesn't give us any direct score on "how well" it works or does not, just a yes-no. The next step is to move on to in vivo efficacy testing in animals and then eventually humans."
That's good news on two fronts for Lexaria. The first and most obvious is that DehydraTECHTM works with these important antivirals. The second is that it opens the door to an antiviral market projected to be worth USD$44 billion by 2026. The company is not limiting its scope in this area to only COVID-19 drugs. Several antivirals will be tested in the same manner.
Remdesivir, which is sold under the brand name Veklury, is a broad-spectrum antiviral that was originally developed to treat hepatitis C. It was approved and authorized for emergency use by the FDA as a therapeutic treatment for COVID-19 in 2020. Lexaria would like to emphasize that the use of DehydraTECHTM with Remdesivir does not create a "cure" for COVID-19.
Ebastine is an antihistamine that is administered orally. It's used for treatment of allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria. In some countries it is also used for relief from mosquito bites or atopic dermatitis. It's been in medical use since 1990 and is available in 10mg to 20mg tablets, fast-dissolving tablets, and as a pediatric syrup.
Remdesivir and Ebastine both face bioavailability challenges when administered orally, thus limiting their commercial potential. Lexaria hopes to change this with its technology.
This week, Lexaria announced it had measured circulating drug levels of DehydraTECH-enabled Remdesivir and Ebastine twice or even three times higher than concentration-matched controls without DehydraTECH. Mr. Bunka described the outcome as "the best results Lexaria has ever generated demonstrating our technology's ability to more effectively deliver antiviral drugs when taken orally."
Lexaria Has a Track Record of Success with DehydraTECHTM
Antivirals are not the only market where DehydraTECHTM has been proven to be effective. In 2018, Lexaria ran a human clinical trial on hypertension using DehydraTECHTM CBD. The results showed a 5% drop in blood pressure after just one 90mg dose. CBD administered using Lexaria's patented dehydration process was shown to deliver 300%+ more CBD in under 30 minutes.
Those results were the first step into a $30 billion antihypertensive drug market. Phase I of human clinical trials on the drug, HYPER-H21-1, were completed ahead of schedule this month and the commencement of Phase II was announced this week. The primary objectives of the study are time series blood pressure and heart rate analysis.
Since 2016, DehydraTECHTM has been consistently proven effective in both CBD and nicotine bio-absorption. Lexaria has licensed the technology to multiple companies in those sectors and has plans to further evaluate DehydraTECHTM with antivirals, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), PDE5 inhibitors, human hormones, and vitamins.
The antiviral results, combined with significant progress in the antihypertensive space, increases the likelihood of a Big Pharma partnership for Lexaria. Remdesivir is owned by Gilead Sciences, a company known for acquisitions and partnerships with firms developing cutting edge pharmaceutical technology. Is there synergy there? Time will tell.
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