Helperby and COVID-19

Helperby’s commercial model is to develop combinations of repurposed old drugs to fight common resistant bacterial infections. Currently, this combination model is universally utilised for the treatment of diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS, but not for common bacterial diseases. In the case of COVID-19, this model has resulted in other groups identifying with randomised clinical trials, two old drugs, each in separate trials which significantly reduce the death rate. The names of these drugs are dexamethasone and interferon-beta which were used in combination with other old drugs.

In the peak of the European COVID-19 epidemic, Helperby designed a randomised clinical trial with a combination of repurposed old drugs for the treatment of Coronavirus-positive cases. This trial was to be run in Poland in parallel to the Company’s complicated urinary tract infection randomised clinical trial. Recruitment of patients was to be fast because the availability of the patients would become very limited when the peak disappeared. The necessary paperwork for the trial was completed. A detailed, high quality grant application was submitted to a British government funded organisation. The application was short listed by the British Government and attracted significant interest from prospective investors. However, the Company decided to withdraw the application when a separate (unrelated) trial led by Oxford University indicated that the proposed combination may not be as efficacious as the Company had hoped.

Meanwhile, the Company entered into an agreement with another company with the aim of bringing a new automated hand disinfectant system for the coronavirus. This program aims to bring this system to the market before Christmas (see HAND in “Pipeline)