Kimer Med is a New Zealand biotech startup in the very early stages of work on improvement and commercialization of the DRACO antiviral technology. This approach works by selectively destroying cells that host viral replication, and has been shown to be effective for a few presently challenging viral infections in animal models. In principle it is a platform extensible to any viral infection. Unfortunately DRACO fell into the usual chasm, made up of a lack of funding for later stage academic research, a lack of strong-willed iconoclasts willing to go to bat for it, and a lack of interest in the pharmaceutical industry for anything that isn't neatly packaged and ready to go.
The Kimer Med principals are providing the strong-willed iconoclast component of the mix, but there is work yet to do in order to attract investors: nailing down intellectual property, proving that replication and improvement of the original DRACO formulation works as they claim, and so forth. So the team is giving crowdfunding a try for their early development plan. This has long been a technology of interest for the longevity community for some years, as it might be a way to address herpesviruses like cytomegalovirus that appear to be important in the age-related decline of the immunity system. So take a look at the crowdfunding page, and give some though to helping out.
We are working on a broad-spectrum antiviral drug. You can help us achieve a future free of the suffering caused by viruses. SARS-CoV-2 is just the tip of the iceberg. We also plan to tackle HIV, Hepatitis B, Influenza, Herpes, CMV, EBV, the common cold, and others. Viruses infect animals, too, both pets and livestock. Today, almost a hundred years after the discovery of penicillin and sulfa, although we have a few antivirals, none of the current commercial products have a breadth of activity that even slightly measures up to the spectrum of those first antibiotics. In fact, new antivirals currently have to be customized for each different virus. For example, Tamiflu only works for the flu, not SARS-CoV-2, and viruses are already developing resistance.
However, a few years ago, researchers at MIT's Lincoln Lab came up with an antiviral protein that works much differently from conventional antiviral drugs. Their published research showed this compound to be effective against 15 different viruses, including Influenza H1N1, Rhinovirus (the common cold), Dengue, Adenovirus, and others - a true broad-spectrum antiviral. With the advent of Covid-19, as well as with the significant human, animal and financial burden of many other viruses, and the ongoing risk of the appearance of new ones, the time is right to pick up where Lincoln Lab left off, and complete the commercial development of this compound. We believe this protein is non-toxic and that it should also be effective against SARS-CoV-2. Based on the way it works, there is good reason to believe it could be effective against a very wide range of viruses.
The next step is funding for fabrication and testing, including against SARS-CoV-2. We've already done the legwork of identifying the suppliers we will need, and the costs and associated regulations. Most or all of this work can be contracted-out, so we don't even need a laboratory of our own yet. We are anticipating the need to fine-tune our fabrication process a bit, followed by additional testing in the lab, and then quickly moving on to in vivo testing. Once successful in lab animals, we plan to progress to safety trials in people. We want to make this drug safe and available for use in humans as soon as we practically can.
This compound's effectiveness has already been replicated and published by two other labs. In one, they tested against PRRSV. In the other, against Influenza. Previous lab testing shows that the compound has been effective against every virus tested, including a wide-cross section of virus types. However, unknowns do remain. This is why we need your help. In addition to confirming effectiveness, we want to look at things like dosing. As with most drugs, there may also end up being certain contraindications or limitations, which we will need to identify, and work around if we can.