Great R&D breakthroughs on a miracle new drug against the COVID-19 global pandemics
Since the beginning of winter, the global pandemic situation is becoming more complicated. Mutated strains of the SARS-CoV-2 have been found in The United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil. These mutants are pathologically more invasive or infectious. Rebounds of infection cases in China have also been reported, either from imported or as the local asymptomatic infections. Viral nucleic acids have also been tested positive on the packages of imported products. The new coronaviruses are found not only in sporadic but also in clustered or family aggregated cases. Many regions have increased their pandemic alarming level to medium- and high-risk... The new coronavirus pandemic disrupts the normal operation of society, various aspects of both economics and human health are being affected.
Epidemics studies have shown that as the pandemics evolve, there are changes in the coronavirus spreading patterns. The scope of spreading is expanded, from fresh food to refrigerated food in the cold chain, even to the packages of the automobile parts. The situation of epidemic prevention and control has become increasingly difficult because the virus could spread not only from ‘person to person’, but also from ‘object to person’. Experts predict that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is likely to coexist with human society for a long time.
A more severe challenge than the epidemics is the economic strike and social unrest caused by the epidemics. Statistics show that human society has been suffering from the worst economic recession since the end of World War II. The economies of various countries have been impacted by heavy economic losses, and the operation of global industry and supply chains has been hindered. According to the latest issue of the World Economic Outlook published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is estimated to shrink by 3.5% in 2020. Although global economic growth is expected to rise in 2021, the IMF pointed out that there are "extraordinary" uncertainties in the prospects for global economic recovery. At the same time, the World Economic Forum warned in the "2021 Global Risk Report" released on January 19 that the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the social polarization by increasing the gap between the rich and the poor.
Broad-spectrum anti coronavirus drugs against mutated strains
So far, however, In such a battle against the coronavirus, humans are not gaining the upper hand. Although more and more knowledge on the mechanisms is understood, the current human strategy is no more than passive or defensive protocols, aiming at reducing human travel so as to quarantine the transmission. Vaccination also started and tried to showcase the effectiveness. In addition, according to the world's largest vaccination database (The Bloomberg's Vaccine Tracking Database), given the effectiveness of the current two-dose vaccine protocol to have 75% population coverage, it will take 7.4 years for the world to return to normal. Once the virus mutates or accompanies the other infectious disease, the global society and economy will be unable to withstand the pressure of the second pandemic. Therefore, normalized epidemic prevention and control are very important. We must take the initiative to find ways to coexist with the virus. Therefore, It is particularly important to develop broad-spectrum drugs that can combat the risk of virus mutations, so as to contain the pandemics, in a community of high mobility and high population density.
Suntrap Life Technologies Co., Ltd and the IDDNU® platform
AI-assisted computing has greatly improved the efficiency of new drug research and development. Suntrap Life Technologies Co., Ltd has taken the lead to establish the IDDNU® platform, to serve as an international drug discovery network alliance.
With the rapid development of high-performance computing, artificial intelligence becomes an emerging disruptive technology. With better algorithms and the accumulation of a large amount of drug discovery data, the AI artificial intelligence-based drug discovery technology has the advantages of high efficiency and low cost.
Since 2019, Suntrap Life Technologies Co., Ltd. has established a drug research team, carried out comprehensive drug research and development projects, and built the Suntrap IDDNU® (Suntrap International Drug Discovery Network Alliance) technology platform. Suntrap IDDNU® is based upon the EK-DRD database, published by one of the researchers Mr. Jason Zhao. (J Chem Inf Model. 2019 Sep 23;59(9):3619-3624. EK-DRD: A Comprehensive Database for Drug Repositioning Inspired by Experimental Knowledge). This database includes detailed information on the US FDA approved 1963 drugs (including those withdrawn from the market), and the activity information in the target, cell, animal, and clinical experiments. In addition, the Suntrap research team also included the structure and activity data of 400,838 natural compounds.
Through the collection of these data and the construction of a database, the Suntrap research team has developed a series of natural compounds for drug redirection. Based on AI drug discovery algorithms and mathematical models, it can quickly calculate the affinity between these compounds and the target, and predict the compound-protein interaction, the ability to discover multi-pharmacological (multi-target) compounds, and the discovery of the correspondence among the drug-target-disease interactions, provide a very efficient platform for systematic pre-screening of drugs. For a variety of diseases (such as tumors, viral infections, tissue fibrosis, respiratory infectious diseases, aging-related chronic diseases, etc.), the Suntrap research team has initiated a variety of biological drug research and development pipelines.
Given that the new coronavirus is raging around the world, the Suntrap research team responded to the pandemic immediately and launched the "Research on Anti-Coronavirus Products" project in early 2020. Drugs claimed to be targeting the coronavirus have been clinically proven to be ineffective and have side-effects. In terms of target selection for the new drug development, the Suntrap research team aims to the development of small molecules with multi-targets, broad-spectrum, and collaborative therapeutic effectiveness, which acts not only to the original coronaviruses but also on the mutants or related strains. The Suntrap IDDNU® quickly screened the antiviral activity of natural small molecular compounds from a database of drugs, herbals as well as food components, and discovered the multi-target synergistic anti-coronavirus compound "LeSoleil®''. The Suntrap research team, together with the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public Health, completed the sensitivity study and safety evaluation of "LeSoleil®". The experimental conclusions show that "LeSoleil®'' has significant effectiveness in the in vitro inhibition of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Further studies confirmed the effectiveness, which laid the foundation for LeSoleil® to be further developed into a candidate for the anti-coronavirus drug. The Suntrap’s team studies have indicated that the "LeSoleil® has the advantages of low toxicity, good tolerability, and high accessibility, The Suntrap IDDNU® guarantees the rapid development of broadspectrum COVID-19 prevention and therapeutic drugs.
LeSoleil® series of specific drugs for the treatment of new coronavirus pneumonia have completed preclinical trials
In the face of the increasing spread of the new mutant coronavirus strains that are more infectious and elusive, existing drugs and vaccines are not enough to combat and completely eliminate the mutant virus. The world has an urgent need for new coronavirus therapeutic drugs. Based on this understanding, Suntrap's research team took "LeSoleil" as the main drug component and carried out further development of the LeSoleil® series. According to the characteristics of infection, different formulas were tested in drug development.
First of all, an emergency anti-coronavirus protective spray was released, which can effectively block the infection and the spread, while reducing the probability and risk of the mutation of the coronavirus. The protective spray can directly act on the nasal cavity and oral cavity, which are the initial sites where the virus infection manifested in the human body. The studies showed that the LeSoleil® spray effectively and stably prevent virus infection, inhibit virus replication, inactivate the virus, and prevent the virus from further infecting the human body. These observations also applied to the asymptomatic infected person who carries the virus, the spray could effectively eliminate the virus from being discharged droplets through breathing, sneezing, coughing, etc. After applying the LeSoleil®, the exhaled air still retains the active ingredients that can effectively inhibit the virus, making the virus lose its infectivity. At present, the development of the LeSoleil® series of nasal and mouth spray formulations has been completed, including formulation design, formulation screening, mechanisms research, process optimization, and the quality evaluations of the QA and QC. The design, the quality control are strictly in accordance with domestic and international FDA regulations, which are complying with the general requirements of the current edition of the "People's Republic of China Pharmacopoeia". In addition, these nasal and mouth sprays could also effectively inhibit the inflammatory responses in the lungs, as experimented with the rat animal model of pneumonia. The experimental results show that "LeSoleil®" can prevent the inflammatory storm caused by the coronavirus infection, reduce the damage of the inflammation to the body, and have a good anti-inflammatory effect. At present, Suntrap's research team has also completed the development of LeSoleil® series injections, which can treat patients with severe and critical pneumonia caused by coronavirus infection.
Furthermore, pulmonary fibrosis can also be prevented. Pulmonary fibrosis is a common sequela of patients discharged from the hospital with COVID-19, which seriously affects the quality of life and prognosis of patients. Pulmonary fibrosis is also commonly happening in other lung diseases, and currently, there are no effective therapeutics to cure pulmonary fibrosis patients.
Studies have shown that the new coronavirus can directly invade the brain's nervous system, causing loss of sensory such as smell and taste, and affecting the functionality of human neurotransmitters, leading to the onset of anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Suntrap's research team has fully studied the targets related to pulmonary fibrosis and constructed in vivo and in vitro testing models. In the in vitro studies, the TGF-β1 induced HFL-1 cells fibrosis can be effectively inhibited, and in the in vivo bleomycin-induced rat pulmonary fibrosis, LeSoleil® showed reliable effectiveness in stopping the pulmonary fibrosis processes. The experiment shows that LeSoleil® can reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and fibrosis, which reduce the tendency of post-infection pulmonary fibrosis. In the LeSoleil® neuron protection experiment, it was found that it can effectively inhibit the apoptosis of nerve cells, protect neurons and repair the damaged nervous system.
Pulmonary diseases have become more common in recent years. Although the formula and the inhaler are more complex than other forms of administrations, the LeSoleil® can directly reach the lungs and be absorbed more effectively. Such routes of absorption also bypass the liver metabolism, which usually happens with oral administration. The advantages are also prominent when compared with muscle injection, as the inhaler delivery reaches the loci more quickly and directly. The Suntrap research team has developed the LeSoleil® series administered with inhalation devices, which can treat and prevent pulmonary fibrosis, repair the damaged sensory perception of taste and smell, and are expected to completely improve the prognosis of the new coronavirus pneumonia.
The weakening trend of the COVID-19 pandemics does not mean that the virus disappears completely or that the next wave of pandemics will not come. The threats of future pandemics are still looming large. The WHO warned that a virus more deadly than the current coronavirus may also be inflicting humans in the future. The Suntrap research team through modeling the global pandemics data, in combination with the environmental factors and the effects of social distancing and other quarantine measures, also predicted that some influenza epidemics may also occur from March to May 2021. These epidemics are also expected to be accompanied by an explosive number of cases of pulmonary infection. The symptoms of such pulmonary infections are easily confused with that of coronavirus pneumonia, and there is also a risk of superimposed infection, which makes the coronavirus pandemics even more difficult to be prevented, treated, or managed.
The coronavirus is so small that it is invisible to the naked eye, but it is enough to distress the world. Today, with globalization prevail, no single country or nation can be standing alone unaffected. Under various situations of cultural, commercial, or political situations, the pandemic's impact has become far more complicated than ever. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemics, human beings cannot rely on a sheer stroke of luck. Large-scale testing, mandatory isolation, and restrictions on the movement of people are not the optimal long-term measure. The prevention and control of infectious diseases require a high degree of professionalism. It is essential to adapt and follow the scientific principles in solving such a problem.
Therefore, it is the best strategy that we fight the disease actively, with efficiency as well as rationality so as to keep as much the normal operation of the society, minimize the economic impact, and develop safe and effective medicines for the pandemics.
Experimental researches have proved that the LeSoleil® series of drugs can not only block the broad-spectrum coronavirus infection, resist further development of respiratory infection, but also kill the viruses. LeSoleil® can also contain and eliminate the inflammatory storm caused by the infection, and prevent pulmonary fibrosis. It is expected that LeSoleil® will become an effective drug against this and the coming pandemics. At present, the Suntrap research team has completed the pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic, and safety evaluation studies of the LeSoleil® series of products. Patents have been filed and authorized in China. Clinical trials are also under planning and are expected to be completed in a short time. The Suntrap team is striving to make LeSoleil® available as soon as possible.