Pharmaceutical outsourcing specialist Quay Pharma’s acknowledged expertise in microbial biotherapeutics has played a crucial role in the development of an experimental therapy with the potential to prevent and treat the complications from COVID-19.
Quay has been working with Evelo Biosciences, Inc, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, on Evelo’s EDP1815, which has so far become one of only two drugs to be selected to take part in the TACTIC-E trial. Prof. Sir Mark Walport, at a recent COVID-19 Therapeutic webinar hosted by the BIA, explained the rationale behind the choices of the emerging drugs and that over 700 had been reviewed during the process.
The TACTIC trials (Multi-Arm Therapeutic Study in Pre-ICU Patients Admitted with COVID-19) is being led by the Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Some people with COVID-19 develop severe symptoms which are thought to be the result of a heightened immune response leading to organ damage and, in some cases, death. The TACTIC programme is designed to assess selected medications which modify the immune response. There are two trials in the programme: TACTIC-R is testing existing drugs (known as re-purposing) while TACTIC-E is looking at the use of new (experimental) treatments.
Quay Pharma is the only CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation) licensed globally for the support of oral drug product manufacture utilising microbial therapies. The company’s expertise in this area is based on its breadth of expertise in formulation development across many delivery routes, along with its understanding of isolation and containment techniques.
In particular, Quay has introduced procedures in order to effectively handle many types of microbes during the development and manufacture of drug products in order to maintain their potency.