IMM124E – May offer a New modality for Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2


Key Points

  • Monash University Research Update on SARS-CoV-2 program
  • Biomedicine Discovery Institute initiates program to isolate and identify the inhibitory molecule/s in IMM-124E
  • Appointment of Chief Medical Officer with preliminary focus on COVID-19

MELBOURNE, Australia, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immuron Limited (ASX: IMC; NASDAQ: IMRN), an Australian biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing oral immunotherapeutic products for the prevention and treatment of gut pathogens, today is pleased to provide shareholders and the market with an update on the anti-viral activity of IMM124E used to manufacture the company’s flag ship commercially available and over-the-counter gastrointestinal and digestive health immune supplements Travelan® and Protectyn®. Monash University Scientists at the Biomedicine Discovery Institute have developed and optimized two new immunologically based assays utilizing two recombinant reagents, the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and a receptor binding domain protein obtained from Melbourne’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

Preliminary findings (ASX announcement dated 21 July 2020) previously reported investigating IMM-124E demonstrated neutralizing activity against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19. Further studies now undertaken, by Monash suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 inhibitory activity is novel and does not bind to the spike protein or the receptor binding domain that the virus uses to dock to the cells it infects.

SARS-CoV-2 and Bovine Corona viruses (BCoV) are closely related phylogenetically. Different studies have demonstrated the existence of cross-reactive immunity through shared sites/epitopes between the bovine and human viruses. Thus, it appears that the immunological homology in highly conserved structures between the two viruses may be the cause of the reported inhibition. Immune recognition of viral structural proteins M and S2, by anti-BCoV antibodies present in IMM-124E could cause the inactivation of the SARS-COV-2 virus.

This antiviral effect differs from most Vaccines currently under development which directly target the spike protein. The mode of action may offer a complementary treatment regime using therapeutics targeting the virus.

“Our initial results suggest the inhibitory substance/s in the products are binding to other antigens present on the SARS-CoV-2 virus which interfere with the mechanism the virus uses to gain entry and infect human cells. We do not yet know which compound/s in the products are responsible for this interference. However, we are excited to try and identify them,” said Professor Lyras.

Prof Lyras further added, “it does not matter whether antagonists to the SARS-CoV-2 virus block the binding of the spike protein directly or indirectly as long as they can prevent or reduce infection.”

The research team now plans to try and isolate and identify the inhibitory molecule/s in IMM124E.

The company is also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Dan Peres as Chief Medical Officer. Dr Peres will be responsible for leading and managing the company’s clinical development programs with a preliminary focus on COVID-19. Dr Peres was previously engaged by Immuron to manage the company sponsored NASH phase II clinical trial.

This release has been authorised by the directors of Immuron Limited.


Dr Jerry Kanellos, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Ph: +61 (0)3 9824 5254

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