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Peer-reviewed study offers first description of ongoing NETosis induction in Long COVID; provides insights into pathogenesis and can serve as a surrogate marker for persistent pathology
Research emphasizes need to explore neutrophil-targeted therapies in acute and chronic COVID-19
SALT LAKE CITY – April 13, 2023 – Peel Therapeutics, an evolutionary-inspired, clinical-stage biotech company, announced research conducted by the company has been published in The Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. The study, NETosis Induction Reflects COVID-19 Severity and Long COVID: Insights from a Two-Center Patient Cohort Study in Israel, evaluated the ability of blood from Israeli patients with Long COVID to induce neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) as a marker of ongoing inflammation. NETs are sticky webs of DNA released by activated immunes cells that contribute to immunothrombosis (mini-clots) and fibrosis. Peel scientists also correlated NETosis potential with acute disease severity in COVID-19. The study concluded that NET inhibitors may be a possible treatment approach for COVID-19 and recommended additional research to confirm findings. Peel Therapeutics is developing first-in-class Neutrophil Targeting Peptides (NTPs) – originating from natural NET inhibitors in newborns – to block inflammation leading to immunothrombosis and fibrosis.
In this study, Peel researchers examined NETs among people with and without COVID-19 and measured NET induction during and after infection. The study concluded that increased NETosis induction can be detected in people with Long COVID, offering insight into the potential uses of NTPs and other NET inhibitors for the treatment of Long COVID.
The study included 177 patients from 2 Israeli hospitals with acute COVID-19 infection (mild/moderate or severe/critical) or convalescent COVID-19 (recovered or Long COVID), along with 54 non-COVID controls. People who experienced symptoms of Long COVID maintained higher NETosis induction compared to recovered convalescent patients. Dr. Kimberly Martinod, Assistant Professor in Cardiovascular Sciences at KU Leuven, runs a NET research laboratory that studies clotting and fibrosis in heart failure and is co-author on the paper. Dr. Martinod remarked, “Measuring NETs in blood samples is challenging. The Peel team quantified the ability of patient blood to form NETs instead of measuring fragments of NETs which can be complicated by their rapid degradation – especially in COVID-19 where this is unbalanced. This study demonstrates the increased ability of blood from patients with acute and ongoing COVID-19 to induce NETs in healthy neutrophils. This reflects ongoing inflammation that may trigger excessive NET release, even weeks after the initial infection has cleared.”
Peel CEO and Co-founder, Dr. Joshua Schiffman, stated, “This study offers a new target for COVID patients suffering from ongoing inflammation. The potential use of our NTPs in acute and chronic COVID further validates Peel’s ability to unlock evolutionary biology for cancer and inflammation. Our preclinical research lays the groundwork for scientists and clinicians to understand NTP’s potential to treat inflammatory diseases, improve health outcomes, and in this case, offer hope to patients with Long COVID.”
The study can be accessed via the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Peel scientists demonstrate increased NETosis induction in healthy neutrophils exposed to the blood of patients with severe Acute COVID-19 and symptomatic Long COVID. Created with BioRender.com
About Peel Therapeutics
Peel Therapeutics is an evolutionary-inspired, clinical-stage biotech company that engineers nature better than evolution intended. Our scientists search for nature’s super abilities where evolutionary biology accomplished the inconceivable in preventing or defeating disease. We then apply drug development expertise to rapidly translate this evolutionary biology into medicines. The company is advancing a therapeutic pipeline to treat a spectrum of devastating conditions, with a near-term focus on cancer and inflammation. At Peel Therapeutics, we push the limits of biology to develop highly effective and safe medicines for patients. “Peel” is the Hebrew word for elephant, our company originates from the natural cancer resistance found in elephants.
PEEL Therapeutics, Inc.
Peel Therapeutics is an evolutionary-inspired biotech company that intersects nature, curiosity, leading-edge science and technology to develop medicines that can transform patients’ lives. Our team searches for nature’s superabilities where evolutionary biology has accomplished the inconceivable in preventing or defeating disease. We then apply multidisciplinary scientific and medical expertise, state-of-the-art technology and our drug development knowledge to rapidly engineer this evolutionary biology into medicines. The company is advancing a therapeutic pipeline to treat a spectrum of devastating conditions, with a near-term focus on cancer and inflammation. At Peel Therapeutics, we push the limits of biology to develop highly effective and safe medicines for patients that transcend the incremental. Peel Therapeutics is located in Salt Lake City, Utah and Haifa, Israel – and is a member of BioHive, the Utah life sciences industry collective. For more information, please visit www.peeltx.com or find the company on LinkedIn or Twitter.