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Jul  02, 2020

Coronavirus Breakthrough: New Study Highlights Senhwa Biosciences Silmitasertib as Potential Treatment for COVID-19

TAIPEI, Taiwan and San Diego, California, July 1st , 2020 -- Senhwa Biosciences, Inc. (TPEx: 6492), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on Next Generation DNA Damage Response (DDR) therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, today announced that its drug Silmitasertib was again identified as one of the top potential treatments against COVID-19.  The latest international study led by Professor Nevan Krogan of UCSF’s Quantitative Biosciences Institute found that the Casein Kinase 2 (CK2) inhibitor, Silmitasertib, displayed robust antiviral activity in treating COVID-19, in vitro.  Results were published in the June 28, 2020 issue of the scientific journal, Cell1
The new study revealed startling images that the new coronavirus causes infected cells to sprout tentacles - referred to as filopodia - which can poke holes in nearby cells and transfer the disease to them.  Tests and electron microscope photos showed that these filopodia contained high concentrations of coronavirus as well as CK2.  The scientists, knowing that CK2 is being upregulated by the virus, selected Silmitasertib (as the only first-in-class CK2 inhibitor currently in clinical trials) and tested its anti-viral efficacy.  "We've tested a number of these kinase inhibitors and some are better than remdesivir," said UCSF's Director of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute, Professor Nevan Krogan.
 “We were thrilled to learn that Silmitasertib displayed strong antiviral activity.  Next, Senhwa believes that in vivo trials conducted in collaboration with various institutions and contract research laboratories will confirm strong anti-viral and anti-inflammatory efficacy of Silmitasertib.  Ultimately, we hope to initiate clinical trials with COVID-19 patients.” said Dr. Tai-Sen Soong, the CEO of Senhwa Biosciences.
Silmitasertib is safe and well-tolerated in humans.  To date, three Phase I trials of Silmitasertib in cancer patients have been completed; currently, there are one ongoing Phase I and two ongoing Phase II studies of Silmitasertib.  
About Silmitasertib
Silmitasertib is a first-in-class small molecule drug that targets CK2 and acts as a CK2-inhibitor.  A Phase I/II study has shown that Silmitasertib achieved clinical benefit, resulting in stable disease and extending the duration of treatment in patients who are unresponsive to standard of care therapy.  The combination of Silmitasertib with DNA-damaging agents such as gemcitabine (Gemzar) plus cisplatin (Platinol) has been shown to synergistically improve the efficacy of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) treatments.  In December 2016, Silmitasertib was granted Orphan Drug Designation by the US FDA for the treatment of CCA.   
About Senhwa
Senhwa Biosciences, Inc. is a leading clinical stage company focusing on developing first-in-class, Next Generation DNA Damage Response (DDR) therapeutics for patients with unmet medical needs in oncology.  Headquartered in Taiwan, with an operational base in San Diego, California, Senhwa is well positioned to oversee the development of their compounds.
Development is currently focused on two lead products Silmitasertib (CX-4945) and Pidnarulex (CX-5461) with novel mechanisms of action and for multiple indications.  Clinical trials are ongoing in Australia, Canada, United States, Korea and Taiwan, with more currently in development. 

1 https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30811-4
More details please visit Senhwa Biosciences at www.senhwabio.com