January 15, 2021
Jubilant Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, today announced a collaboration with The Wistar Institute, an international leader in biomedical research, to evaluate the ability of Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase 4 (PAD4) inhibitors provided by Jubilant Therapeutics to block neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation in the context of COVID-19 related cytokine storms.
PAD4 is an enzyme that catalyzes conversion of arginine to citrulline in proteins, including histones and is highly expressed in neutrophils. Histone citrullination has been implicated in Neutrophil Extracellular Trap (NET) formation and accumulating evidence suggests that NETs may be linked to the severity of COVID-19, as their formation is a result of pro-inflammatory cytokine release syndrome (CRS), or cytokine storms, produced by the body’s immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Cytokine storms are implicated in the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is the leading cause of death in patients infected with COVID-19.
“We are very pleased to announce our collaboration with the renowned Wistar Institute,” said Syed Kazmi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jubilant Therapeutics. “Even with COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, we know its wrath will persist for some time to come and the need to reduce its death toll remains critical. Beyond COVID-19, understanding the potential of PAD4 inhibitors to address aberrant NET formation will be important due to their role in the pathogenesis of many disease states beyond viral infections.”
“This collaboration with Jubilant Therapeutics will further advance our comprehensive research efforts to find therapeutics to diminish cytokine storms and decrease COVID-19 symptom gravity,” said Yulia Nefedova, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Immunology, Microenvironment & Metastasis Program at The Wistar Institute. “It is our hope that Jubilant Therapeutics’ inhibitors will prove successful in blocking NET formation to this end.”