Inside Invion’s (ASX:IVX) quest to tap multi-billion-dollar opportunity in viral disease treatment space

A recent report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) titled “Strengthening Australia’s Pandemic Preparedness” identified the development of novel antivirals as a key science and technology area for boosting the country’s pandemic preparedness.

There has been a continued emergence of new viral diseases in recent years. Amidst this scenario, it is important that the world focus on developing innovative treatments. 

Leveraging the current market momentum, Australia-based life sciences company Invion Limited (ASX:IVX) is making headway in the treatment of various infectious diseases.

In the last six months, the ASX-listed company has reported significant research outcomes in multiple viral indications. Research studies with PhotosoftTM compounds have demonstrated effectiveness against dengue, the Zika virus, and COVID-19 variants, including Omicron.

Invion is a Victoria-based life sciences company leading the global research and development of PhotosoftTM technology for treating various forms of cancer, atherosclerosis, and infectious diseases. It is developing PhotosoftTM as a novel next-generation Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).

Let us explore the company’s key developments in its fight against various viral indications.

PhotosoftTM compounds show over 99% inhibition against Zika virus

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In an in vitro study conducted by Viroclinics-DDL and Virology Research Services Ltd, selected PhotosoftTM compounds demonstrated more than 99% inhibition (antiviral activity) against the Zika virus when exposed to specific light wavelengths.

Further, the compounds demonstrated greater efficiency than Monensin, an antibiotic used as a benchmark in the study.

According to Invion, referring to a report by ‘Market Data Forecast’, the Zika virus treatment market is estimated to be worth US$16.98 billion (AU$25 billion) in 2022. This market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% by 2027.

Currently, no treatment is available for Zika virus infection or its associated diseases, and the WHO data reveals Zika cases in 86 countries.

PhotosoftTM compounds effective against Dengue virus

Invion reported promising screening results from in vitro studies of PhotosoftTM on the inhibition of the Dengue virus. In tests conducted on 10 PhotosoftTM photodynamic compounds at eight concentrations, eight of them displayed antiviral activity against the Dengue virus after exposure to a specific light wavelength (660nm).

The global Dengue treatment market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 11.2% to hit US$1.3 billion by 2030, suggests Invion referring to a study by BioSpace.

PhotosoftTM against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2

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The two-year-long COVID-19 pandemic period saw lockdowns, millions of lives lost, and global economic crisis. 

Referring to a study by Coherent Market Insights, Invion states that the global coronavirus treatment market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 17.5% from 2020 to 2027 to reach US$49.2 billion.

Invion reported that nine out of the 10 PhotosoftTM compounds tested showed antiviral activity against the Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2. Further, several compounds were found to be effective at far lower concentrations than Remdesivir. The tested compounds had either no or low cytotoxicity.

Invion is using these early findings to advance its research in the infectious disease space along with its partner institutions. Backed by experienced management and world-leading partnerships, this small-cap biotech company remains committed to finding new ways to combat these viral indications threatening millions of lives.


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