Munich – Formycon AG (ISIN: DE000A1EWVY8/ WKN: A1EWVY) yesterday received the Pharma Trend Image & Innovation “Most Innovative Product(R)” Award in the category of Leap Innovations for its COVID-19 drug development FYB207.
For what is now the 22nd time, the Pharma Trend Image & Innovation Awards, also known in the industry as the Pharma Oscars, were presented in various categories at a celebratory awards ceremony under the patronage of Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek, MdL.
Pharma Trend is the benchmark study on innovation and sustainability which has been conducted on behalf of PharmaBarometer magazine since 2000 and which, through a survey of more than 1,000 physicians, pharmacists and patients, serves as the basis for the awards. For the first time this year, “Most Innovative Product(R)” was awarded in the category of Leap Innovations in cooperation with BioM, a network organization of the biotechnology industry in Munich and Bavaria acting on behalf of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. Companies that will receive funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) or the Free State of Bavaria for the development of COVID-19 therapies in 2021 were eligible to apply. In July 2021, Formycon received a commitment from the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy (StMWi) of up to EUR 12.7 million to support the further development of the COVID-19 drug FYB207.
FYB207 is a long-acting ACE2 immunoglobulin fusion protein. SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses use the ACE2 protein on the surface of human cells as a portal of entry for respiratory infections. Formycon has therefore fused the human ACE2 protein with the constant portion of human immunoglobulin to create an innovative COVID-19 agent (FYB207) that is protected against viral mutations, completely prevents cell infection in vitro, and can potentially be used against all coronaviruses that use ACE2 as a portal of entry for cell infection. The basic scientific work on this is being funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation.
Laboratory studies conducted by Formycon in collaboration with its academic partners Prof. Ulrike Protzer, Chair of Virology, and Prof. Johannes Buchner, Chair of Biotechnology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) show that Formycon’s ACE2 fusion protein, in addition to efficiently neutralizing the coronavirus variants alpha (B.1.17) and beta (B.1.351) in the picomolar range, also exhibits strong binding to the viral spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant (B.1.617.2). In summary, these laboratory data demonstrate that FYB207 retains its full antiviral potential even for the rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants-of-concern.
“Receiving the prestigious Pharma Trend Image & Innovation ‘Most Innovative Product(R)’ Award for Leap Innovations is a great pleasure and encourages us in our innovative COVID-19 drug development. We would like to thank the jury for this award as well as our academic partners at the Technical University of Munich and our entire team for their excellent scientific work. We would like to express our gratitude to the Bavarian Research Foundation and the Free State of Bavaria for their extensive financial support. We believe that SARS-CoV-2 will remain a long-term threat to the health of many people. With FYB207, we are working on a tailor-made COVID-19 drug that also protects against viral mutations and thus should also contribute to the prevention of future coronaviruses,” commented Dr. Carsten Brockmeyer, CEO of Formycon AG.