PEG-20k for COVID?
In 2020 we had a lot of people ask “can PEG-20k help patients with COVID?”. To be honest, I think every life science company was asked if their product could help address the pandemic. That was appropriate and to be expected. So can PEG-20k help?
The short answer is “maybe”. First of all PEG-20k is not yet developed to the point where it can be tested in humans. We hope we’ll be there in about a year. Also, most of the pre-clinical work on the solution has been focused on treating trauma/ hemorrhagic shock (major blood loss).
The research team does believe that PEG-20k might help address Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) which is a major issue for the worst COVID cases. The same mechanism that makes PEG-20k have such an impact on hemorrhagic shock patients (perfusion) should help patients with ARDS. We did approach one government agency with our concept but they did not choose to move forward with research funding.
It is important to remember that medical experts and government officials were rightfully looking for therapeutics that could be approved in months of weeks (e.g., a drug in Phase 3 clinical trials). The potential use of PEG-20k to address COVID induced ARDS will realistically take years. Hopefully by the end of 2021 COVID cases will be so low, and other therapeutics so effective, that this will no longer be a priority.
That said, we do plan to eventually try to develop PEG-20k as a therapeutic for Sepsis and ARDS, if the research demonstrates efficacy. It won’t happen in 2021 or 2022, but hopefully someday PEG-20k will be an approved and important therapeutic to address those conditions.