WAKEFIELD, Mass., March 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Innovation Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB:IPIX) (“the Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today research procedures that one of the 12 Regional Biocontainment Labs (RBLs) in the United States will follow when testing Brilacidin, the Company’s lead defensin mimetic drug candidate, against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. Testing is scheduled to begin the week of March 16.

Staff scientists at the RBL will evaluate Brilacidin’s potential inhibitory efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelial cell lines, as well as its potential inhibitory effect in viral replication of the alphavirus (with Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus [VEEV] as a prototype) in different cell lines. VEEV has been chosen as a prototype because of the RBL’s focus in this area, possessing in-house necessary assays to assess the antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity of a given compound. Brilacidin also will be compared with other small molecules to assess Brilacidin’s potential relative efficacy.

Should Brilacidin show promise (a minimum of 1.5-2 log inhibition in the low micromolar range), testing will be expanded to include additional mechanism of action studies to determine Brilacidin’s specific inhibitory activity across the lifecycle of the SARS-CoV-2 virus—viral entry, viral RNA and viral release. Host kinase landscape may also be explored to determine if Brilacidin has any effect on the kinase function of specific target kinases by multiplexed proteomics strategies. Last, synergistic studies of Brilacidin, with other antivirals, might also be pursued.

About Brilacidin and COVID-19
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak poses a significant life-threatening and economic risk throughout the world. Over 126,000 cases have been diagnosed in at least 110 countries, resulting in at least 4,600 reported deaths, including over 1,200 cases and 37 fatalities in the U.S. There are no effective approved therapies to treat COVID-19. Brilacidin is one of the few drugs targeting COVID-19 that has been tested in human trials for other clinical indications, providing an established safety and efficacy profile, thereby potentially enabling it to rapidly help address the emerging worldwide coronavirus crisis, developed both as an intravenous medicine and as a vaccine. There is no assurance made or implied that testing Brilacidin for antiviral activity against any coronavirus will be successful.

Sign-up for Innovation Pharmaceuticals email alerts is available at:

About Innovation Pharmaceuticals
Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IPIX) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a world-class portfolio of innovative therapies addressing multiple areas of unmet medical need, including inflammatory diseases, cancer, infectious disease, and dermatologic diseases. Brilacidin, a versatile compound with broad therapeutic potential, is in a new chemical class called defensin-mimetics. A Phase 2 trial of Brilacidin as an oral rinse for the prevention of Severe Oral Mucositis (SOM) in patients with Head and Neck Cancer, met its primary and secondary endpoints, including reducing the incidence of SOM. The Company plans to advance Brilacidin oral rinse into Phase 3 development, subject to available financial resources. Positive results were also observed in a Phase 2 Proof-of-Concept trial treating patients locally with Brilacidin for Ulcerative Proctitis/Ulcerative Proctosigmoiditis (UP/UPS). Brilacidin for UP/UPS was licensed to Alfasigma S.p.A. in July 2019. A Phase 2b trial of Brilacidin showed a single intravenous dose of the drug delivered comparable outcomes to a seven-day dosing regimen of the FDA-approved blockbuster daptomycin in treating Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infection. Kevetrin is a novel anti-cancer drug shown to modulate p53, often referred to as the “Guardian Angel Gene” due to its crucial role in controlling cell mutations and has successfully completed a Phase 2 trial in Ovarian Cancer. More information is available on the Company website at www.IPharmInc.com.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements concerning the future execution of a definitive agreement with a global pharmaceutical company and the anticipated terms thereof, our future drug development plans, other statements regarding future product developments, and markets, including with respect to specific indications, and any other statements which are other than statements of historical fact. These statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause the Company’s actual results and experience to differ materially from anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. The Company has in some cases identified forward-looking statements by using words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “hopes,” “estimates,” “looks,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “goal,” “potential,” “may,” “suggest,” and similar expressions. Among other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements are the Company’s need for, and the availability of, substantial capital in the future to fund its operations and research and development; including the amount and timing of the sale of shares of common stock under securities purchase agreements; the fact that the Company’s licensee(s) may not successfully complete pre-clinical or clinical testing and the Company will not receive milestone payments, or the fact that the Company’s compounds may not successfully complete pre-clinical or clinical testing, or be granted regulatory approval to be sold and marketed in the United States or elsewhere. A more complete description of these risk factors is included in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly the results of any revisions to any such forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by applicable law or regulation.

Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Leo Ehrlich