Ceapro Inc. provides updates on the development of an inhalable drug that uses yeast beta glucan processed with pressurized gas expanded technology (PGX-YBG)

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McMaster’s research team discovers a new mechanism of action for PGX-YBG

PGX-YBG demonstrates the ability to reprogram macrophages on its own

PGX-YBG may be a suitable therapeutic solution for patients with fibrotic lung disease and advanced stage COVID-19 patients

EDMONTON, Alberta, November 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Ceapro Inc.
(TSX-V: CZO; OTCQX: CRPOF) (“Ceapro” or the “Company”) , a growing biotech company focused on the development and commercialization of active ingredients for the healthcare and cosmetics industry, today provided an update on its ongoing collaboration with McMaster University to develop an inhalable therapy for COVID-19 that it could also be used for post-COVID-19 conditions treatment.

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The project entitled ” Yeast Beta-Glucans Treated with PGX as Inhalable Immunomodulatory Therapy for COVID-19 Patients , “Jointly funded by Mitacs and Ceapro, it is conducted under the guidance of Dr. Kjetil Ask, a pulmonary fibrosis expert, and Dr. Todd Hoare of McMaster University’s Departments of Medicine and Chemical Engineering, respectively.

This project was launched in August 2019 when researchers from McMaster University and Ceapro were examining preliminary data collected as part of a collaborative research program where one of the goals was to develop delivery systems to optimize the drug formulations used. for chronic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). While yeast beta glucan appeared to be a promising compound, the researchers thought that the ideal formulation to treat fibrotic lung disorders would be to develop an inhalable complex produced by loading a drug on PGX-processed yeast beta glucan (PGX-YBG). . Following preliminary experiments with PGX-YBG alone and / or in combination with a drug, they realized that PGX-YBG could be much more than a vector and could be used as an active component in a new antifibrotic treatment for more severe lung diseases including COVID-19 patients.

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“We have shown that PGX technology can convert materials that cannot be easily inhaled, in particular, a YBG-based particle that has intrinsic immunomodulatory properties, into materials that can easily access the lung,” commented Dr. Hoare. “By combining this property with the very high internal surface area of ​​PGX-treated microparticles that allows for high concentration drug loading using Ceapro’s supercritical drug impregnation process, we are very excited about the potential of this technology for treating lung diseases. , including COVID-19 potentially at an advanced stage “.

The team successfully demonstrated that Ceapro’s PGX technology can produce low-density, highly porous and purified YBG microparticles with a small and uniform size distribution. These unique particles have been found to possess improved aerodynamic properties, allowing them to be inhaled and deposited in the deep lung where fibrotic development occurs.

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At the heart of this project is fibrosis: the unregulated and excessive production of scar tissue in the organs. Key immune cells called macrophages apparently play a crucial role in the maintenance and progression of the fibrotic state. “M1” macrophages express proinflammatory properties and “M2” macrophages express completely opposite anti-inflammatory properties. During fibrosis, M2-like macrophages persist in the fibrotic lung and secrete cytokines (cell signaling molecules) that stimulate the cells around them to constantly produce and deposit scar tissue in the deep lung. These recent results indicate that PGX-YBG, which binds specifically to Dectin-1 receptors on the surface of macrophages, can repolarize or “reprogram” M2-like macrophages into M1-like macrophages, thereby ending tissue deposition (fibrosis) and initiating the necessary removal of excess tissues.

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“We demonstrated, in vitro , that PGX-YBG has the ability to prevent activation of macrophages towards a pro-fibrotic phenotype. Furthermore, treatment with PGX-YBG on macrophages that have already acquired a pro-fibrotic phenotype results in reprogramming of the macrophages towards a classical phenotype not known to be pro-fibrotic. Using animal cells lacking the Dectin-1 beta-glucan receptor, we demonstrated that this depended on the presence of the Dectin-1 receptor. These results are very interesting as macrophage reprogramming is seen as a viable therapeutic strategy towards fibrotic disease and PGX-YBG appears to have this ability. In vivo , we have shown that PGX-YBG can be safely administered to mice and preliminary data show an ability to prevent fibrogenesis in an experimental model of pulmonary fibrosis. We can’t wait to validate them in vivo results in the next few months, “said Dr. Ask.

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To advance this promising technology in human clinical trials, the company is working to ensure that PGX-YBG delivery to the lung is optimized. It will also be important to further validate PGX-YBG’s performance to reduce pulmonary fibrosis, either alone or loaded with an anti-inflammatory drug currently used for pulmonary fibrosis and COVID-19 therapy. The potential impact of this project is considerable as one of the most common and deadly fibrotic diseases is IPF for which there is no cure and a short (3-5 year) survival rate. It has also recently been shown that pulmonary fibrosis can occur and persist for months in some COVID-19 patients, thus suggesting that COVID-19 survivors may suffer from complications of post-infection pulmonary fibrosis.

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“We are very pleased with the progress made in this research project. Considering these recent and exciting results, we believe that further animal studies are certainly needed before starting human studies to develop the best possible tool in the fight against pulmonary fibrotic diseases, including COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 complications. “commented Gilles Gagnon, M.Sc., MBA, President and CEO of Ceapro.” We are grateful for the collaborative work with the McMaster University team and look forward to further developments. “

About Ceapro Inc.

Ceapro Inc. is a Canadian biotech company involved in developing a proprietary extraction technology and applying that technology to the production of extracts and “active ingredients” from oats and other renewable plant resources. Ceapro adds further value to its extracts by supporting their use in cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and therapeutic products for humans and animals. The company has a broad range of expertise in natural product chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology and process engineering. These skills come together in the fields of active ingredients, biopharmaceuticals and solutions for drug delivery. For more information on Ceapro, visit the Company’s website at www.ceapro.com .

For more information contact:

Jenene Thomas
JTC Team, LLC
Investor Relations and Corporate Communication Consultant
T (USA): +1 (833) 475-8247
AND: [email protected]

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