SYDNEY, Australia, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ENA Respiratory, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing INNA-051, a first-in-class broad-spectrum antiviral innate immunomodulator for pan-antiviral prophylaxis in at-risk populations and pandemic preparedness, has been selected to join BLUE KNIGHT™, a joint initiative between Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ENA Respiratory is the first Australian company to be selected to join Blue Knight.
Blue Knight offers a scientific and technological ecosystem for innovative, early-stage companies to develop strategically aligned technologies that aim to combat health threats and emerging infectious diseases. ENA Respiratory’s selection highlights the urgent unmet need for therapies that could help the body respond faster to a broad range of respiratory viral infections and reduce the risk of hospitalization or complications. As a Blue Knight company, ENA Respiratory will benefit from mentorship from experts from BARDA, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, and a global network of innovators who could provide critical insight and support throughout INNA-051 development.
ENA Respiratory’s self-administered nasal spray INNA-051 product is designed with the aim to stimulate the innate immunity in the nose, which is the preferential site of initial infection and replication of most respiratory viruses. Pre-clinical research demonstrates that INNA-051 has pan-antiviral potential with efficacy against a variety of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and the common cold rhinovirus.
“As we continue to advance the development of INNA-051, we look forward to working alongside BARDA, industry leaders, and other innovative companies with the aim to address emerging health threats and better protect our global community against infectious diseases,” said Christophe Demaison, Ph.D., CEO of ENA Respiratory.
ENA Respiratory is a virtual resident within JLABS, a premier life science incubator program.
Recently, ENA Respiratory began a Phase 2a influenza challenge pre-exposure prophylaxis study of INNA-051. It was found to be well-tolerated in a Phase 1 study, and Phase 1 data will be presented at the 2022 American Thoracic Society International Conference (May 13- 18, San Francisco).
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About ENA Respiratory and INNA-051
ENA Respiratory is aiming to transform the prevention of respiratory viral infections in populations at-risk of complications. The company is based in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia and it has secured a Series A funding from Brandon Capital Partners’ managed funds, the Minderoo Foundation, and Uniseed.
INNA-051 is a potent innate immune TLR2/6 agonist. It is being developed for intranasal delivery to target the preferential site of initial infection and replication of most respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. Fast-acting and inducing a durable biologic response supporting weekly administration, INNA-051 works by recruiting innate immune cells and priming epithelial cells of the nasal mucosa to respond more quickly to infections, rapidly eliminating viruses and other pathogens before they spread throughout the body. INNA-051 and close analogues have been shown in preclinical studies to be effective against multiple respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza (H1N1 and seasonal H3N2), and rhinovirus.
Key features of INNA-051 intranasal administration include limited minimal or no systemic bioavailability, minimal or no systemic pro-inflammatory cytokine release, no direct type I interferon upregulation which is known to be associated with fever in humans, durable immune response supporting weekly administration, and compatibility with vaccine and intranasal corticosteroids.
For more information, please visit https://enarespiratory.com