Qu’s Site-Specific Immunomodulator (SSI) technology is recognized to be uniquely suited to address the problem the world is collectively grappling with – a novel emerging viral infection where there is a lack of adaptive immune memory in the population. In the absence of herd immunity and a vaccine, a highly contagious virus, such as SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, spreads rapidly through the population resulting in high morbidity and mortality amongst our most vulnerable who lack immune resiliency (such as the elderly) and those exposed to high viral load (such as our frontline healthcare workers). It is acknowledged that an effective vaccine will take considerable time to develop, leaving the elderly and other at-risk groups susceptible to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Qu’s SSI technology is precisely suited to address this significant global problem. SSIs function to enhance the primary arm of the immune system, innate immunity, that is responsible for providing the first line of defense against all new infectious threats. Innate immunity is particularly important when adaptive immunity is lacking – as is the case for COVID-19. Innate immunity declines as we age and is suboptimal in those living with chronic metabolic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease; thus, the SSI approach is designed to help those most vulnerable to serious COVID-19 infections.
In studies done in collaboration with Dartmouth College and McMaster University, Qu has shown that their lung-targeting SSI, QBKPN, significantly reduces lung pathogen burden against a broad range of respiratory infections, both viral and bacterial in nature. Importantly, QBKPN treatment was shown to markedly reduce morbidity and mortality from respiratory infections in aged animals.
Because QBKPN has already been tested clinically in a Phase 1/2 study and has a very good safety profile to date, Qu is positioned to deploy its use to effectively address the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce spread, morbidity and mortality in high-risk groups before the development of an effective vaccine.
Qu’s technology has been recognized as an innovative solution that could potentially provide immunological protection for the current viral pandemic, as well as future ones. The Qu team has been actively working with various Departments of the Canadian Government for potential federal funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic and has been seeking partnership opportunities outside of government to quickly put in place the resources necessary to make an important difference in the trajectory of this and future pandemics. A brief overview describing the application of Qu’s SSIs for COVID-19, and other emerging infectious threats, can be viewed here.