Poolbeg identifies novel RSV drug candidates

RNS Number : 3928K
Poolbeg Pharma PLC
21 December 2022

Poolbeg Pharma plc


Poolbeg identifies new potential drug candidates for Respiratory Syncytial Virus infections as part of Artificial Intelligence Programme


Collaboration with OneThree Biotech identifies novel RSV treatments

First time RSV drug candidates identified using AI

Candidates with existing Phase I clinical data packages prioritised to reduce risk


Poolbeg Pharma (AIM: POLB, OTCQB: POLBF, 'Poolbeg' or the 'Company'), a leading infectious disease focused biopharmaceutical company, announces that it has successfully identified potential new drug candidates from its Respiratory Syncytial Virus ('RSV') artificial intelligence ('AI') Programme with OneThree Biotech, Inc.


Since initiating the collaboration in February 2022 , Poolbeg's scientific team has worked closely with OneThree to build a tailored AI approach that leverages Poolbeg's unique RSV human challenge trial data in order to identify disease-relevant biological pathways and potential drug targets. Based on those newly discovered drug targets , the collaboration has now identified a number of promising drug candidates to rapidly bring forward to lab-based validation to determine the full potential of these assets.


The Company has prioritised compounds with existing Phase I clinical data and which could, if successfully validated, be repositioned as novel treatments for RSV infection. Candidates with solid safety and pharmacodynamic data in humans are well positioned to rapidly enter a clinical trial to generate early human efficacy data for RSV. This is in line with Poolbeg's efficient, capital light clinical development strategy that is at the core of its ambitious growth model.  


RSV, which inflames the smallest airways of the lungs, usually sends an average of 58,000-80,000 children under the age of 5 to hospital each year in the US alone, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). RSV can also be dangerous for adults over the age of 65, resulting in around 177,000 hospitalisations per year in the United States alone. The current cold and flu season commenced about two months earlier than anticipated and already rivals some of the worst seasons on record with RSV hospitalising young children in the United States and Europe at an alarming rate. Public health officials have been warning for weeks that a "tripledemic" of SARS-CoV-2, influenza and RSV would strain an already weary healthcare system. RSV has made so many young children ill this fall that weekly paediatric hospitalisations in the US are the highest recorded.


Jeremy Skillington, PhD, CEO of Poolbeg Pharma said: "In the past few months, RSV has been sending children to hospital at alarming rates in the United States and Europe. As paediatric units fill beyond capacity, and our healthcare systems contend with a 'tripledemic' of RSV, influenza and SARS-CoV-2, the need for better treatments has never been so urgent.


We're impressed with the quality of work executed so far with OneThree leveraging their AI expertise to present new drug potential candidates from our unique human challenge trial data which Poolbeg will now optimise for further development in RSV, the only one of the three main respiratory illnesses for which there are not yet any approved vaccines and where treatment options are limited."


Neel S. Madhukar, PhD, co-founder and CEO of OneThree Biotech, said: " We are very pleased to be working with Poolbeg and to have the opportunity to deploy the ATLANTIS platform to complete the first ever AI-driven analysis of RSV disease progression data. I am delighted that Poolbeg's unique dataset combined with OneThree's externally validated platform have now delivered new actionable insights surrounding disease biology and drug discovery that can bring much needed treatment options for both the young and the elderly; the most vulnerable to RSV infection."




Poolbeg Pharma Plc

Jeremy Skillington, CEO

Ian O'Connell, CFO


+44 (0) 207 183 1499

finnCap Ltd (Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker)

Geoff Nash, Charlie Beeson, Nigel Birks, Harriet Ward (ECM)


+44 (0) 207 220 0500

Singer Capital Markets (Joint Broker)

Phil Davies, Sam Butcher


  +44 (0) 207 496 3000

J&E Davy (Joint Broker)

Anthony Farrell, Niall Gilchrist


+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Optimum Strategic Communications

Mary Clark, Nick Bastin, Manel Mateus, Vici Rabbetts 


+44 (0) 208 078 4357



About Poolbeg Pharma


Poolbeg Pharma specialises in the development of innovative medicines to address the unmet need in prevalent and emerging infectious diseases. Poolbeg has a disciplined portfolio approach to mitigate risk, accelerate drug development and enhance investor returns. The Company simultaneously advances multiple programmes in cost-effective clinical trials, rapidly generating early human safety and efficacy data to enable early partnering / out-licensing, with the funds generated reinvested in the pipeline. Poolbeg also uses AI to interrogate human challenge trial data sets to quickly identify new targets and drugs, and in-license near or in the clinic medicines, leading to faster development and greater commercial appeal.


The Company is targeting the growing infectious disease market. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, infectious disease has become one of the fastest growing pharma markets and is expected to exceed $250bn by 2025.


With its initial assets from  hVIVO plc   (formerly   Open Orphan plc) an industry leading infectious disease and human challenge trials business, Poolbeg has access to knowledge, experience, and clinical data from over 20 years of human challenge trials. The Company is using these insights to acquire new assets as well as reposition clinical stage products, reducing spend and risk. Amongst its portfolio of exciting assets, Poolbeg has a small molecule immunomodulator for severe influenza (POLB 001) which has completed its LPS human challenge trial with full data read-out expected in Q2 2023; a first-in-class, intranasally administered RNA-based immunotherapy for respiratory virus infections (POLB 002); and a vaccine candidate for Melioidosis (POLB 003). The Company is also developing two  O ral  Delivery Programmes and is progressing two  A rtificial  I ntelligence (AI)  P rogrammes to add promising new assets to its pipeline.


For more information, please go to  www.poolbegpharma.com  or follow us on  Twitter  and  LinkedIn  @PoolbegPharma.


About OneThree Biotech


OneThree Biotech is a private, clinically validated, biology-driven artificial intelligence (AI) company focused on using its proprietary ATLANTIS AI platform in combination with systems biology to understand the mechanisms that drive drug-target-disease relationships. This approach has been used not only to generate a pipeline of first-in-class programs, but also in partnerships with other biopharmaceutical companies. OneThree Biotech's proven technology platform integrates chemical, biological, and clinical data with cutting-edge computational tools to answer complex questions surrounding disease biology and drug discovery. The company's AI platform has shown success in identifying new targets for the treatment of various cancers and optimizing early-stage drug discovery and development by quickly and accurately generating new, testable insights and hypotheses. The OneThree platform has been validated across early-stage drug discovery through multiple partnerships, clinical trials, and more than 20 peer-reviewed publications. OneThree Biotech is based in New York City.


For more information, please go to   https://onethree.bio/

Twitter: @onethreebiotech


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