Ena Therapeutics pursuing COVID-19 validation for its synthetic TLR2 agonists

Based on the technology discovered and developed by Prof David Jackson and his team, Ena Therapeutics (originally Innavac) was formed in 2014 with investment from Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) managed by Brandon Capital Partners and Uniseed to create new therapeutics and prophylactics for respiratory diseases.

Dave Jackson

Prof. David Jackson

Led by CEO Dr Christophe Demaison, Ena Therapeutics’ proprietary technology builds on the use of synthetic TLR2/6 agonists to provide broad spectrum prophylaxis against respiratory viral and bacterial infections in at-risk populations.

INNA-X, a fully synthetic pegylated TLR2/6 agonist, provides fast and long-lasting protection against multiple types of infections and has a safe immune-modulatory profile.

The broad applicability and noted efficacy of INNA-X against multiple respiratory viruses, including influenza and rhinovirus, led the Ena team to consider the potential benefits of this novel technology to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The team is now actively seeking funding to accelerate this program and complete a COVID-19 trial to assess efficacy as a tool for mass antiviral prophylaxis.

As noted by Ena CEO, Christophe Demaison:

‘Ena’s drug candidate (INNA-051) has the ability to alter the course and outcomes of respiratory virus epidemics, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. INNA-051 has proven capacity to quickly activate and enhance the natural, human immune defence mechanisms that promote anti-viral resistance, while in parallel prevents the development of aberrant host inflammatory over-responsiveness, the known process that mediates detrimental post-infection pathology and death.

Given the urgency arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, Ena is eager to contribute to the international efforts against the pandemic and is well positioned to aggressively expedite its pharmaceutical development program and initiate clinical trials against COVID-19, as rapidly as possible.’