New Therapeutic Could Replace Need for Vaccine
SANTA FE, N.M. – October 5, 2020. Scientists at Spartina Biotechnologies Inc. are developing an innovative technology called SIRENTM technology that utilizes a two-pronged approach to control COVID-19 without the use of a vaccine.
“SIREN technology offers a novel treatment for the control of COVID-19 by both stopping the replication of the virus and preventing the virus from suppressing immune system components in the first place,” said Richard Sayre, Ph.D., the lead scientist on this project.
Recent studies have indicated that the lower morbidity and mortality observed in children infected with SAR-CoV-2 relative to adults is associated with a more active innate immune system and a less active adaptive immune response in children. The recent New York Times story published Sunday appears here: https://nyti.ms/3kSCX8h
“These observations suggest that a virus control strategy based on enhanced activation of the innate immune response may be an effective strategy to control COVID-19,” said Dr. Sayre. “The SIREN™ technology focuses on the simultaneous activation of multiple components of the innate immune system to control the virus and offers a unique strategy to treat and prevent COVID-19 infections that is complementary to vaccine virus control strategies.”
SIREN™ technology works differently than a vaccine. It would block the ability of viruses to replicate and it would trigger an immune response within the patient within hours of application.
“Our objective is to provide a safe, effective, and affordable alternative to vaccines that can change the course of COVID-19 and other viruses in the world,” said Spartina Biotechnologies’ CEO, Paul Laur.
The process works, according to research done by Spartina Biotechnologies, using RNA interference, or RNAi, to silence genes in the virus that allow it to replicate. A video of how RNAi works can be found here: https://youtu.be/cK-OGB1_ELE.
“This process would potentially have no side effects and could be readily available to the public through hospitals, doctors’ offices, and clinics through an injection much like an allergy shot,” said Dr. Sayre.
SIREN™ technology incorporates several in-house innovations including the optimization of RNAi molecular structures for targeted gene silencing, novel systems for the stable delivery of RNAi molecules to the patient, and the specific targeting of RNAi molecules to virus-infected cells.
To help guide the development of the SIREN™ technology, Spartina Biotechnologies has created a world-class Scientific Advisory Board. Top scientists in the fields of medical molecular biology, virology, and immunology sit on the board.
“This is a promising new technology, and will be timely since we don’t know for sure when a vaccine will be widely available, how many people will get it, or how long immunity from a vaccine will last,” said Dr. John Schoggins, Spartina Biotechnologies Scientific Advisory Board member. “We need more therapeutic options to treat COVID-19, and this innovative technology may be a path in the right direction.”
If Americans continue to shy away from taking a COVID-19 vaccine, it will diminish the chance of reaching herd immunity. Spartina Biotechnologies’ SIREN™ is a completely new way to tackle the problem and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a safe product that will have no side effects.
In addition to keeping the virus from replicating, the SIREN™ technology would unblock the innate immune system, helping to prevent COVID-19 and halting the spread of the virus.
“SIREN™ technology will use both gene silencing and the body’s innate immune system to stop the replication of COVID-19,” said Richard Jorgensen, Ph.D., Spartina Scientific Advisory Board member.
Furthermore, since a virus can mutate quickly, SIREN™ can be rapidly adjusted to meet any new virus threats that cannot be treated with a vaccine developed for another strain.
“This technology will help us keep up with mutations of the virus,” said Dr. Sayre, “when vaccines take years to develop for each strain.”
SIREN™ technology could be available to the market for general consumption by late 2021, according to Spartina Biotechnologies. Lab research began this fall, with clinical trials anticipated in mid-2021 and mass production late next year, according to the current schedule.
“While we collectively hope for an effective vaccine, affordable alternative therapeutics will play an important role in keeping people safe and ending this pandemic.”
said Stephen Hedrick, Ph.D., Spartina Scientific Advisory Board member.
Visit SpartinaBiotech.com for more information.
Dr. Richard Sayre is Chief Science Officer at Spartina Biotechnologies. Formerly a Los Alamos National Laboratory Biosciences Division Level-6 research scientist, Dr. Sayre was named by Science magazine as one of the top 5 crop scientists who will change the world.
Spartina Biotechnologies, founded by Richard Sayre, Ph.D. and Paul Laur in Santa Fe, N.M., is developing new ways to treat viral infections and the COVID-19 virus. Unlike traditional vaccines, Spartina’s products, once on the market, could deliver powerful anti-viral results and allow patients to recover faster, with fewer long-term impacts. More information can be found at SpartinaBiotech.com.