Lexaria Bioscience Corp (CSE:LXX) (OTCMKTS:LXRP) told investors Monday that it has broadened the scope of its pharmaceutical subsidiary in a bid to help assist in the global fight against coronavirus.
The company’s subsidiary Lexaria Pharmaceutical Corp will look at how the parent company’s DehydraTECH drug delivery platform could improve delivery and effectiveness of antiviral drugs to treat coronavirus.
Kelowna, British Columbia-based Lexaria said it plans to expand collaboration with leading laboratories in North America and internationally “as soon as possible.”
The news comes after the company revealed last week that it has initiated a program with top labs in the United States and Canada to study the benefits of the company’s DehydraTECH drug delivery platform for boosting the delivery and effectiveness of certain antiretroviral drugs being tapped in the fight against the coronavirus.
DehydraTECH enhances the way active pharmaceutical ingredients enter the bloodstream, promoting lower overall dosing and higher effectiveness for lipophilic active molecules, or those that dissolve in lipids or fats.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, researchers are currently looking at various antiviral drugs as potential candidates to treat infected patients. Many of these drugs are fat-soluble and can present significant bioavailability challenges in successfully reaching the human bloodstream when administered in oral form.
Billion dollar savings
DehydraTECH reduces time of onset and increases bioavailability in every fat soluble drug with which it has been tested to date, according to Lexaria.
“The increase in bioavailability can significantly reduce the drug dose required to treat a condition, thereby reducing treatment costs,” the company told shareholders in a statement on Monday.
“In the case of COVID-19 where many millions of drug doses may be required worldwide, this has the potential to save billions of dollars and improve accessibility to positively effect healthcare on a global scale.”
The firm completed the design phase and now plans to conduct a pilot human pharmacokinetic exploratory study in healthy volunteers with three or more antiviral drugs that have previously been studied against other coronavirus strains, comparing DehydraTECH formulations to controls, it said.
If the trial data successfully demonstrates antiviral drug delivery efficiencies, Lexaria said it will provide that data to researchers around the world to enable additional practical research in utilization of similar antiviral drugs in combating coronavirus.
The company also said that it has cancelled nearly 3.3 million stock options priced between US$0.37 and $1.53. It is also terminating its 2007 stock option plan as there are no longer any options issued under the plan.
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