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Kinarus and Noorik awarded federal grants

13.12.2021

The Basel-based biopharmaceutical companies Kinarus and Noorik have been awarded federal grants for their clinical trials investigating drug candidates to combat Covid-19. The drugs are likely to be available by the end of 2022. In total, the Federal Council has agreed development contracts with four Swiss firms.

The two Basel-based biopharmaceutical firms Kinarus and Noorik have been included in a funding program for Covid-19 drugs operated by the Federal Council, the Swiss federal government. According to a press release, the Federal Council is supporting the development of new drugs to the tune of 27 million Swiss francs. In return, the Federal Council will receive a right of first refusal for these drugs, which are likely to be ready by the end of 2022. Similar contracts have also been signed with Memo Therapeutics from Schlieren in the canton of Zurich and GeNeuro based in Plan-les-Ouates in the canton of Geneva.

The investment as part of the federal program for the promotion of Covid-19 drugs in an unspecified amount will facilitate the acceleration of the clinical development of ambrisetan, according to a press release issued by Noorik Biopharmaceuticals, which is based in Basel. The main objective of the ongoing study is to determine whether the vasodilator ambrisetan is able to prevent the progression of respiratory failure in hospitalized Covid-19 patients, which in turn could reduce the need for mechanical ventilation. The contract agreed with the Federal Council should “hopefully make this therapy broadly available as soon as possible”, explains Elmar Schnee, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Noorik, in the company’s press release.

At present, Kinarus AG is carrying out two clinical trials. The first deals with hospitalized Covid-19 patients, while the other is focused on people with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms. The funding of 7 million Swiss francs from the federal support program will serve to “rapidly advance” both clinical trials, the company based at Technologiepark Basel writes in its own press release. “We believe that KIN001 has the potential to be an effective treatment option in the fight against Covid-19”, explains Matthew Wright, COO and Head of Research at Kinarus, before adding: “This grant award is an exceptional validation of our COVID-19 program at Kinarus”.

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