Cyrus Biotechnology’s COVID Therapeutic Thread, ACE2.v2.4, Binds Strongly and Neutralizes the Omicron Variant of SARS-CoV-2 Potentially Providing Long-Term Protection | Illinois


SEATTLE – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Dec. 27 2021–

Cyrus Biotechnology, Inc., a Seattle-based biotechnology company with a proprietary platform for biologics discovery that combines software, AI, and large-scale parallel screening of proteins, today announced that its molecule A preclinical COVID therapeutic, ACE2.v2.4 strongly binds the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 (VOC) variant of concern omicron. ACE2.v2.4 was designed to bind to future variants of the virus, providing therapy for COVID for years to come, and these data demonstrate that the molecule is able to provide superior protection against new variants.

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ACE2.v2.4, a soluble derivative of the virus’s natural receptor, was specifically designed in collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois to tolerate mutations in the virus spike protein, and also has high affinity for alpha and delta COV as well as for SARS-CoV-1 and for a set of unrelated bat coronaviruses (reported in Science Advances).

Tests carried out by several laboratories, including at Cyrus, have shown that the antibodies currently on the market – a cocktail of Regeneron and antibodies to Vir / GSK and Eli Lilly – have lost some or all of their effectiveness against omicron and other variants. In contrast, new work, done at Cyrus and the University of Illinois, now shows that ACE2.v2.4 retains almost all of its effectiveness against omicron. These data are presented in the figure attached to this press release and confirm the results of antibodies observed by others such as the Diamond group. ACE2.v2.4 has previously been shown to bind tightly to all VOCs in cellular tests and neutralize the original virus in mouse studies. Recently published pseudovirus neutralization studies by the Hoshino laboratory in Kyoto confirm that Cyrus ACE2.v2.4 (and other Cyrus variants) successfully neutralizes omicron.

“This is the first data from a developing program, and we have yet to see clinical performance, but the SARS-CoV-2” ACE.v2 “decoy receptor from Cyrus Biotechnology – which was developed against the original Spike of December 2019 – remains incredibly effective at neutralizing Omicron and other variants, ”said Dr. Jeremy Kamil, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

“New variants of COVID-19 continue to emerge and surprise us by escaping monoclonal antibody cocktails and vaccines. So-called “decoys” like ACEv2.4 represent exciting therapeutic candidates. Because ACE2.v2.4 mimics but dramatically improves the way the human ACE2 receptor binds to viral spike protein, these therapeutic candidates function very differently from monoclonal antibodies. So the real promise here is that such interventions can be much harder to evade the virus. “

Cyrus is continuing confirmatory studies in animal models of COVID-19 and continues to improve the pharmacokinetic performance of the lead molecule. Other related molecules with even higher potency against omicron and earlier variants of SARS-COV-2 are also under evaluation. The initial development of ACE2.v2.4 has been published and more recent data showing its efficacy against VOCs has been accepted in a peer-reviewed journal. Cyrus will continue to rapidly publish data on omicron and beyond.

ACE2.v2.4 is a dual-mode COVID-19 therapeutic molecule with viral neutralizing and anti-inflammatory / protective enzymatic activity of the lungs. “Many groups have created therapies that bind to the virus spike protein and prevent virus binding and entry into human cells,” said Dr Erik Procko, director of discovery at Cyrus and associate professor of Biophysics at the University of Illinois. “Antibody therapies create new proteins to bind the peak, mimicking the natural binding of ACE2. Cyrus took a different approach, taking natural ACE2 and upgrading it to have potency like an antibody. By designing ACE2.v2.4 to be as similar as possible to natural ACE2, ACE2.v2.4 is designed to bind to any variant of SARS-CoV-2. Newer CoV-2 variants that do not bind to ACE2.v2.4 will also not bind to human cells and these variants will not be infectious. Based on this engineering method and the results obtained with delta and omicron and other variants, we believe that ACE2.v2.4 has a much better chance of neutralizing future VOCs than any antibody or cocktail. antibodies, ”added Dr Procko.

“While new therapeutic antibodies can be generated over a period of months as new VOCs emerge, a widely active protein constructed as a decoy for the normal ACE2 receptor is expected to provide an intervention that remains effective and clinically useful for years to come.” and possibly indefinitely for the rampant COVID. 19, ”said Lucas Nivon, CEO of Cyrus.

About Cyrus Biotechnology

Cyrus Biotechnology is a preclinical biotechnology company combining computational and experimental protein design and screening to create new biologics for serious unmet medical needs. Using this approach, Cyrus is developing a first pipeline of innovative programs in multiple indications. The Cyrus platform improves both the efficiency (binding affinity, aggregation propensity, solubility and stability) and safety (binding specificity and immunogenicity) of natural proteins. Cyrus also partners with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and research institutes to advance collaborative programs from discovery to clinical. Cyrus is based on basic software from David Baker’s lab at the University of Washington. Cyrus has worked with over 90 industrial partners. We are based in Seattle, WA and funded by leading US and Asian biotech and technology investors including Orbimed, Trinity Ventures, Springrock, Agent Capital, iSelect, Yard Ventures, WRF and Alexandria. For more information on Cyrus, please visit

NOTICE: The information in this document is dated December 21, 2021. Cyrus Biotechnology, Inc. (the Company) assumes no obligation to update this information after this date. This document contains forward-looking statements reflecting the Company’s current expectations which necessarily involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events may differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors and the Company assumes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the publication of this press release.

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CONTACT: Lucas Nivon

[email protected]




SOURCE: Cyrus Biotechnology, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 12/27/2021 05:30 AM / DISC: 12/27/2021 05:32 AM

Copyright Business Wire 2021.


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