Enanta Pharmaceuticals doesn’t feel it is far too late to get into the COVID-19 remedy landscape, in particular as the omicron variant sends instances skyrocketing in the U.S. to all-time highs. In addition, the biotech sees the need to have for meds extending into the endemic phase.

While Pfizer and Merck have previously place their COVID-19 therapies via the clinic and notched crisis use authorization nods from the Fda, Enanta is just about to enter the clinic.

The biotech expects to commence scientific trials following thirty day period with a protease inhibitor that it suggests is “very, extremely potent” against variants of concern including omicron in preclinical types, mentioned Jay Luly, Ph.D., president and CEO, for the duration of a presentation at the annual J.P. Morgan Health care Meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

“There’s gonna be a world-wide limited supply of antiviral therapy, even underneath emergency use authorization, for a major time period of time,” Luly reported. There’s an “enormous unmet need” in this spot, the CEO reported, specified many pockets of the world are not vaccinated and considering omicron may not be the previous variant of worry.

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Luly attempted to justify the extensive wait to enter the clinic by expressing Enanta was “patiently designing” its investigational med, EDP-235, because it sees the have to have for secure and efficacious prescription drugs past the instant horizon and into the endemic part of COVID-19.

The biotech, which has not long ago culled oral hepatitis B and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis courses, will examination EDP-235 against SARS-CoV-2, the virus at the rear of COVID-19, and the research will initially enroll wholesome volunteers. Participants will get 100 mg to 500 mg after a working day, Luly explained. Of note, Enanta does not foresee needing a ritonavir booster, the CEO said, when compared to Pfizer’s lately authorized Paxlovid, which involves the HIV drug. The Large Pharma’s greenlighted program consists of 20 Paxlovid drugs and 10 ritonavir capsules taken about 5 times.

Attempting to get a COVID-19 treatment throughout the complete line, even though, is no uncomplicated process. Quite a few biopharmas have experimented with and unsuccessful due to the fact the onset of the pandemic. Atea Prescribed drugs, for one, is continue to transferring forward devoid of ex-spouse Roche on a failed COVID-19 antiviral. Mesoblast is also striving to advance a period 3 of its unsuccessful cell remedy soon after Novartis lower ties with the corporation final month. 

Connected: Novartis cuts ties with Mesoblast’s unsuccessful COVID-19 mobile therapy as biotech tries for pivotal period 3

Other biotechs to strike out on COVID-19 treatment options incorporate: RedHill Biopharma, CytoDyn and Laurent Prescribed drugs. 

Elsewhere in Enanta’s pipeline, the biotech is tests EDP-938, an N-protein inhibitor, in a few ongoing section 2 trials in respiratory syncytial virus.