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Ampio Pharmaceuticals’ Study Shows Ampion Inhibits a Key Inflammatory Pathway in COVID-19 and Lupus Nephritis

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April 6, 2021

Ampio Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the advancement of immunology-based therapies for prevalent inflammatory conditions.

Today they announced the results of a pre-clinical study demonstrating that Ampion inhibits an important pro-inflammatory pathway in the types of immune cells implicated in COVID-19 and Lupus Nephritis.

The aim of the investigation was to evaluate the ability of Ampion to suppress TLR7 signaling and, thereby, reduce the pro-inflammatory chemokine, CXCL10. Toll-like receptors (TLR) are one of the primary mechanisms by which innate immune cells detect and acutely respond to microbial infection. Dysregulation of these signaling pathways has been implicated in the pathology of a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

TLR7 normally serves to detect viral single-stranded RNA (like SARS-Cov-2), but it is also linked to cytokine storm development and acute kidney injury in sepsis and lupus. Previous in vitro laboratory investigations have demonstrated that Ampion inhibits activity of pro-inflammatory transcription factors (NF-κB and STAT) and pro-inflammatory cytokine release (such as TNFα, IL1β, IL6, and CXCL10) in a variety of immune cells.

“Recent evidence from our laboratory demonstrates that Ampion treatment of macrophages and peripheral blood monocytes stimulated with a specific TLR7 activator significantly inhibits the release of CXCL10, the chemokine associated with the dysregulated immune response seen in COVID-19,” said David Bar-Or, M.D., Director and Founder of Ampio Pharmaceuticals and a co-investigator in the study. “Ampion reduced CXCL10 up to 92 percent compared to a saline solution (p<0.05). This result also implies a role for Ampion in inhibiting the upregulated TLR7 signaling shown in the devastating kidney complication of systemic lupus erythematous, lupus nephritis, for which no specific treatment is available.”


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