Soricimed Biopharma, a private Canadian clinical-stage company developing cancer drug candidates that target TRPV6 channel, announced that it will investigate the potential benefit of its cancer drug candidate, SOR-C13, in the treatment of COVID-19.
TRPV6 is a selective calcium channel present in high amounts on the surface of cancer solid-tumor cells and required for the growth, metastasis and resistance to programmed death.
SOR-C13, is a novel, short, synthetic peptide developed from the C-terminal region of soricidin, a proprietary 54 amino acid peptide, found in the saliva of the Northern Short-tailed Shrew. SOR-C13 binds with high affinity to TRPV6 and disrupts its function. SOR-C13 is designed to decrease calcium concentrations inside cancer cells to inhibit calcium-dependent cancer cell proliferation and induce the death of tumor cells overexpressing TRPV6.
Early modeling studies conducted by Soricimed demonstrated the ability of SOR-C13 to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, suggesting that it could potentially interfere with the interaction of the virus with the ACE2 receptor, and stop the entrance of SARS-CoV-2 into the cells (apparently in a TRPV6-independent manner).