COVGENE™:AMPEL’S NOVEL PROGNOSTIC TECHNOLOGY PREDICTS SEVERITY OF ILLNESS IN COVID19 PATIENTS AND IDENTIFIES TREATMENTS
Recent research by AMPEL BioSolutions is primed to improve outcomes for individuals with COVID-19. Published in bioRxiv as a preprint, the study analyzed gene expression in the blood, airway and lung tissue of infected patients. The paper describes a group of genes that may be developed into a prognostic test indicate the severity of a patient’s response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) infection and identify potential effective drugs to blunt lung damage, thereby paving the way for timelier, more effective treatments.
A patient sample (blood, sputum or nasal swab) is processed to extract RNA from human cells. Bioinformatic tools on AMPEL’s Genomic Platform (AGP™) analyze patient RNA for a precise set of gene markers that identify severe COVID-19 and predict potentially effective treatments. The results give treating physicians a greater understanding of an individual’s current inflammatory response to SARS-CoV2 infection. with a decision support report of suggested treatments already on the market.
A major cause of morbidity in COVID-19 patients is the hyper-inflammatory state called “cytokine storm” or “macrophage activation syndrome.” AMPEL’s innovative prognostic approach measures elevated or reduced expressions of certain immune response pathways, which can indicate the severity of the disease as well as its progression. Results from the CovGENE™ approach show a comprehensive picture of a patient’s prognosis and leads to evidence-based treatment options.
After a medical team has a better understanding of a patient’s inflammatory response, it’s time for therapeutic interventions. AMPEL’s CovGENETM approach identifies existing FDA-approved drugs that could be repositioned, or repurposed, to interfere with cytokine storm, macrophage activation, and other mechanisms that lead to severe lung damage.
After a medical team has a better understanding of a patient’s inflammatory response, it’s time for therapeutic interventions. AMPEL’s CovGENETM approach identifies existing FDA-approved drugs that could be repositioned, or repurposed, to interfere with cytokine storms, macrophage activation, and other mechanisms that lead to severe lung damage.
Researchers and doctors are still trying to understand why some COVID-19 patients exhibit only mild symptoms while others experience severe illness. Now with a technology that has the potential to identify the patients who may progress to severe illness with increased likelihood of morbidity, AMPEL’s gene-based approach has the potential to recommend targeted therapies, healthcare providers have another tool with which to fight COVID-19.
“Having a precise way to identify the specific lung-damaging process in each individual is an important breakthrough that greatly improves outcomes in SARS-CoV2 infections,” said Dr. Peter Lipsky, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of AMPEL BioSolutions.
About AMPEL BioSolutions
Started in 2013, AMPEL BioSolutions LLC is a precision medicine company with a proprietary genomic platform, tools and machine learning algorithms. One of AMPEL’s most significant technologies is LuGENE®, a gene-based diagnostic for lupus to determine disease status, predict flares, and match patients with the best drug options.
When the novel coronavirus became a global pandemic, AMPEL BioSolutions quickly applied it’s genomic platform and bioinformatic tools originally developed for LuGENE® to COVID-19. Understanding the urgency, CovGENETM emerged in just five weeks.
Currently, there are a number of FDA-approved drugs being tested in clinical trials to treat the damaging inflammatory response experienced by seriously ill COVID19 patients, including kinase inhibitors such as Baricitinib (JAK inhibitor), Ibrutinib (BTK inhibitor), Duvelisib (PI3K), Ozanimod (S1PR) as well as biologics targeting cytokines such as Tocilizumab (IL6 inhibitor) and Canakinumab (IL1 inhibitor). AMPEL’s approach has identified additional FDA-approved drugs that could be repositioned for COVID19 patients including biologics targeting TNF (ten on market including Embrel/Etanercept) and IL12/23 (Stelara/Ustekinumab).
AMPEL BioSolutions, a privately held company led by co-founders Drs. Amrie Grammer and Peter Lipsky, works with pharmaceutical companies to quickly and safely bring life-saving medication from bench to bedside. Proceeds from clinical trial design and management, as well as investor funding, will fuel R&D for future gene-based disease tests.
AMPEL seeks to connect with existing gene-based COVID-19 diagnostic companies interested in licensing AMPEL’s CovGENE TM technology for a reflex test to predict patients who emerge with severe illness and provide decision support for treatment options. In addition, AMPEL is seeking collaborators for future validation studies..
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