COVID-19: Developing a large-scale synthesis of a drug potentially curing COVID‑19 for the Canadian manufacturing industry

Dudding, Travis | $50,000

Ontario Brock University 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

The recent outbreak of coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) has gripped the world with apprehension and evoked a scare of epic proportion as this global pandemic continues to causes deaths with nearly two million confirmed cases and over 120,000 confirmed deaths worldwide as of April 14, 2020. With this untold millions of people’s lives are being affected as a result of mandatory isolations/quarantines and worldwide health systems are being overwhelmed and the global economy damaged as a ripple effect of the COVID‑19 outbreak.

Repurposing of hydroxychloroquine, a widely used anti-malarial and autoimmune disease drug, was recently identified as a potential broad-spectrum antiviral drug, with promise in treating COVID-19. Importantly, hydroxychloroquine is a proven safe drug used for more than 70 years and, thus, streamlining it clinical use against COVID-19. While the therapeutic potential of hydroxychloroquine is promising, the existing supply chain of this drug in Canada is limited; thus, presenting a real supply and demand bottleneck. This is especially pertinent given mounting border closures that inevitably will lead to increasing cost of offshore drug imports.

The proposed partnership with Biolyse Pharma Cooperation involves the development of a reliable Kilogram-scale synthesis of hydroxychloroquine, a potential broad-spectrum antiviral drug, with promise in treating COVID-19. In doing so, the company partner will position themselves at a strategic place for offering a low-cost, readily available drug for saving (Canadian) lives from COVID-19, while benefiting economically and fostering Canadian based Pharma production. At the same time, most importantly this undertaking will provide Canada with a resource to treat COVID‑19 infected patients.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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