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Arch Biopartners Engages Global CRO to Conduct LSALT peptide (Metablok) Phase II trial for Treatment of Complications in COVID-19 Patients in the U.S.

  • Multi-center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical study targeting the prevention of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in Patients Infected with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
  • Novel Mechanism of Action – a selective dipeptidase-1 antagonist that prevents leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cells reducing inflammation and subsequent organ damage
  • Investigational New Drug application activated and U.S. FDA permission to proceed with Phase II trial to treat complications in COVID-19 patients.
  • Phase 1 study in 52 healthy male and female volunteers is complete with LSALT peptide meeting primary endpoint of safety and tolerability.

TORONTO, July 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Arch Biopartners Inc. (“Arch” or the “Company”) (TSX Venture: ARCH and OTCQB: ACHFF), a clinical stage company developing new drug candidates for treating organ damage caused by inflammation, today announced it has engaged a leading, global contract research organization to initiate and conduct a Phase II trial in the U.S. for its lead drug Metablok (LSALT peptide) to treat complications in patients with COVID-19 including the prevention of acute lung and/or kidney injury.

The Phase II trial will be a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof of concept study of LSALT peptide as prevention of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and acute kidney injury (AKI) in sixty patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

Following guidance and discussion with the FDA during the review of the Phase II protocol, the primary endpoint of the trial was expanded to a composite that includes prevention of ARDS and AKI. The composite reflects severe effects often experienced by hospitalized COVID-19 patients and deemed appropriate for LSALT peptide’s novel mechanism of action in blocking consequential inflammation in these organs.

“We have focused our efforts to conduct the Phase II trial in the U.S., where there has been a significant increase in COVID-19 infections. We look forward to working with our new CRO and U.S. hospital sites as we try to increase survival rates of hospitalized COVID-19 patients at risk of lung and kidney inflammation,” said Richard Muruve, CEO of Arch.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that emerged in China in late 2019. Severe complications from COVID-19 are in large part due to excessive host immune responses to the virus that result in progressive lung inflammation and acute respiratory distress syndrome that often requires mechanical ventilation and critical care1. Patients with severe COVID-19 also experience multiple organ dysfunction including acute kidney injury, liver dysfunction, cardiac failure, and blood abnormalities. Currently, no approved vaccine or effective antiviral drug exists for SARS-CoV-2. Treatment of severe COVID-19 has been primarily supportive, relying heavily on respiratory, infectious disease and critical care medicine.

Survival rates and health care system capacity could both be improved with new treatments that prevent the severe manifestations of COVID-19, such as worsening lung inflammation (ARDS) and AKI experienced by patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.

1 J. S. Ayres, Sci. Adv 10.1126/sciadv.abc1518 (2020)

About Arch Biopartners

Arch Biopartners Inc. is a clinical stage company focused on the development of innovative technologies that have the potential to make a significant medical or commercial impact. Arch is developing a drug pipeline to produce new drug candidates that inhibit inflammation in the lungs, liver and kidneys caused via the dipeptidase-1 (DPEP-1) pathway.

Metablok (LSALT peptide) is a novel peptide drug candidate and the lead DPEP-1 inhibitor in the Arch development pipeline. In August 2019, a scientific team led by Arch scientists Dr. Donna Senger and Dr. Stephen Robbins published a paper in the journal Cell describing a novel mechanism of action for organ inflammation. In the publication, DPEP-1 was identified for the first time as a major leukocyte (white blood cell) adhesion receptor on the lung, liver and kidney endothelium. LSALT differs from typical anti-inflammatory drugs by targeting this novel adhesion receptor rather than targeting individual cytokines, of which there are over 30 currently known.

A total of 40 out of 52 healthy, normal volunteers received Metablok during the recent placebo-controlled Phase I human trial. In all cases, Metablok was well tolerated during the trial and no significant drug-related adverse effects were observed.

Continuing under development in the Arch portfolio are: AB569, a potential new treatment for antibiotic resistant bacterial infections in the lung and wounds; and, ‘Borg’ peptide coatings that increase corrosion resistance and decrease bacterial biofilm on various medical grade metals and plastics.

For more information on Arch Biopartners, its technologies and other public documents Arch has filed on SEDAR, please visit

The Company has 60,782,302 common shares outstanding.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements, other than statements of historical fact, in this news release are forward looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, statements regarding the future plans and objectives of the Company. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions change.

The science and medical contents of this release have been approved by the Company’s Chief Science Officer

The Company is not making any express or implied claims that its product has the ability to eliminate, cure or contain Covid-19 (or SARS-2 Coronavirus) at this time

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release

For more information, please contact: Richard Muruve
Chief Executive Officer
Arch Biopartners, Inc.

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