Aligos Therapeutics has broadened its license agreement with Osaka University’s Luxna Biotech to develop anti-viral drugs against the virus causing Covid-19, as well as other respiratory viruses.

According to the terms of the new agreement, Aligos will leverage Luxna’s nucleic acid technology against Covid-19. Luxna’s technology creates stable oligonucleotide therapeutics, which directly target specific molecules in cells, and can do this quickly through the process of chemical synthesis.

Aligos CEO Dr Lawrence Blatt added: “Luxna’s nucleotide stabilisation technology already serves as an indispensable component for the Aligos’ antisense oligonucleotide clinical candidates targeting chronic hepatitis B, and we are now moving ahead with efforts to utilize this technology to target viruses that have the potential to cause pandemic infections.

“Our team, with decades of experience in anti-viral drug development and oligonucleotide chemistry, is well equipped to explore the potential benefits of the same technology to knock down viral transcripts in respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-2 [which causes Covid-19].

“In light of the current pandemic and its estimated impact in the coming months, it is our responsibility as a healthcare company to investigate all possible paths to mitigate a global health issue like this one.”