The initiative will bring together NorthStar's medical radioisotope experience with Monopar's therapeutic drug development activities and its pre-investigational new drug (IND)-stage humanized urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) targeted monoclonal antibody (MNPR-101). Monopar said it also has a proprietary portfolio of related monoclonal antibodies that target uPAR or its ligand uPA; the uPA system is selectively expressed on aberrantly activated immune cells.
The companies intend to couple MNPR-101 to a therapeutic radioisotope supplied by NorthStar in order to develop a highly selective agent that has the potential to kill aberrantly cytokine-producing immune cells. These cells are responsible for the cytokine storm that is thought to be largely responsible for the severe lung injury and multiple organ damage that contributes to poor outcomes and death in patients with severe COVID-19, according to the companies.
The goal is to eradicate these cells with a targeted RIT, sparing healthy cells while quickly reducing the cytokine storm and its harmful systemic effects, according to the firms.
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