Zentek’s Breakthrough Aptamer Platform Shows Promise in Fighting COVID-19


In a recent interview conducted by Tracy Weslosky of InvestorIntel, Greg Fenton, the CEO & Director of Zentek Ltd. (NASDAQ: ZTEK | TSXV: ZEN), unveiled some thrilling developments surrounding the company’s revolutionary aptamer platform. With an exclusive global license from McMaster University, this groundbreaking platform has demonstrated remarkable success in pre-clinical animal model tests as a potential prophylactic or therapeutic for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Spearheaded by Dr. Yingfu Li’s team at McMaster, this platform harnesses a series of synthetic molecules known as aptamers, exhibiting a high affinity for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

During the pre-clinical trials, groups of mice were treated with either the aptamer developed by Dr. Li’s team or a commercial monoclonal antibody before exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The outcomes were nothing short of impressive. Mice treated with the aptamer displayed minimal weight loss and showed no detectable viral burden in their lungs, while the control group experienced significant weight loss and a high lung viral load. Notably, the aptamers showcased efficacy on par with commercial monoclonal antibodies, effectively neutralizing the virus both in vitro and in vivo.

According to Greg, Dr. Li envisions the aptamer platform going beyond the treatment and prevention of current SARS-CoV-2 variants. The platform holds the potential to be a game-changer in the ongoing battle against COVID-19, even as new variants continue to emerge worldwide. This could mark a significant step forward in combatting the ever-evolving nature of the virus.

In the interview, Greg explains how aptamers have been proven to possess a favorable safety profile, as they are constructed from synthetic single-stranded DNA or RNA molecules using the same building blocks as human DNA or RNA. Greg Fenton expressed that the pre-clinical test results exceeded expectations, and the encouraging safety profile of aptamer-based therapeutics might accelerate the path to commercialization. This offers hope for faster and safer development of potential treatments and preventatives for COVID-19.

Zentek’s collaboration with McMaster University extends beyond its exclusive license, now encompassing all aptamer and DNAzyme uses, including diagnostics, therapeutics, and neutralization agents, not limited solely to SARS-CoV-2 applications. This expansion hints at the broader potential of the aptamer platform in addressing various medical challenges beyond COVID-19, promising exciting developments in the medical field.

Following these promising pre-clinical results, Zentek is actively working on formulating a comprehensive pre-clinical plan to develop a COVID-19 therapeutic or prophylactic based on Dr. Li’s aptamers. This represents a significant stride forward in the potential treatment and prevention of COVID-19, offering hope for effective solutions in the ongoing pandemic.

The collaborative effort between Zentek and McMaster University has led to a game-changing aptamer platform demonstrating impressive efficacy in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 during pre-clinical trials. With the potential to serve as a therapeutic or prophylactic for COVID-19 and future variants, the aptamers shine a ray of hope in the global fight against the pandemic. The expanded license agreement opens doors for innovative applications in diagnostics and therapeutics, opening up possibilities for further advancements in medical science.

However, it is crucial to note that Zentek maintains caution and does not claim to have a product that can entirely eliminate, cure, or contain COVID-19 at this stage. Nevertheless, the progress achieved so far signifies a positive step in the race to combat this global health crisis. As further developments unfold, the world eagerly awaits the potential impact of Zentek’s aptamer platform in transforming the landscape of COVID-19 treatment and prevention. Stay tuned for more exciting updates as this remarkable journey continues to unfold.

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About Zentek Ltd.

Zentek is an ISO 13485:2016 certified graphene technology company focused on the research, development and commercialization of graphene-based novel products seeking to give the Company’s commercial partners a competitive advantage by making their products better, safer, and greener.

Zentek’s patented technology platform ZenGUARD™, is shown to have 99% anti-microbial activity and to significantly increase the bacterial and viral filtration efficiency of both surgical masks and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. Zentek’s ZenGUARD™ production facility is located in Guelph, Ontario. Zentek’s patent pending ZenARMOR™ technology platform is focused on corrosion protection applications.

To know more about Zentek Ltd., click here

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