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  • Writer's pictureTodd Bertsch

Super-Charged Dexamethasone

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

AVM Biotechnology, of Seattle WA, was founded in 2008 by Dr. Theresa Deisher, a 30-year biotech veteran with over 47 patents and four discoveries in clinical trials. She leads a team of talented scientists dedicated to changing what a diagnosis of cancer, autoimmunity, or chronic infectious disease means to patients and their loved ones. Their lead product, AVM0703 has the potential to treat cancers including no-option lymphomas as well as serious cases of COVID-19. In addition, they have received SBIR grants to investigate AVM0703 as a preconditioning agent to allow safe and efficient delivery of therapeutic immune cells for cancer treatment, and another investigating its use as an alternative treatment for Type I Diabetes.

The product is based on a repurposed active ingredient (Dexamethasone) approved and in use for over 60 years. Originally being researched as a precursor conditioning agent to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy, AVM scientists discovered that significantly increasing the dose of their purified version induced novel natural killer T-cells (NKT) and so-called “supercharged cytotoxic T-cells”. The combination of these amplified immune cells mobilized by AVM0703 show promise in aggressive cancer models. NKT cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes are by nature programmed to kill viruses and bacteria as well as cancer. These mobilized supercharged immune cells should not only address the cytokine storm experienced by patients with severe COVID-19 lung disease, but may also assist the body is eliminating or slowing the infectious process of SARS CoV2, and other diseases that affect the lungs such as Influenza. These cells go after invaders and are not virus specific. Importantly, these are cells not normally present in circulation and are uniquely induced by AVM0703.

AVM Biotechnology received approval for clinical trials in treating no-option lymphomas and COVID-19 and influenza-induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS); has received two SBIR grants; and has attracted an impressive global team of advisors who believe AVM0703 is a drug that has extraordinary potential with an understood safety profile. This team includes leaders of some of the top oncology programs in the US as well as internationally known experts on respiratory viruses and vaccines. Dr. Gary Grohmann and Dr. Manon Cox have both joined the AVM Board. Dr. Grohmann is a consultant to the World Health Organization having worked on their Influenza program for many years and Dr. Cox led Protein Sciences Corporation in the development and commercialization of Flublok® and oversaw the successful sale to Sanofi for $650 million in 2019. Their decision to join the AVM Board speaks to their support of AVM0703. In addition, Janet R. Rea, AVM’s Chief Operating Officer, brings over 35 years of industry leadership experience in clinical development through commercialization in biologics and small molecules with a focus on oncology, infectious disease, Orphan and rare-diseases.

AVM has 8 worldwide patent families that cover the use and formulation of its lead drug, AVM0703.

As a COVID-19 treatment and potential to stop future pandemics, AVM0703 has several advantages including being produced in only a 7-hour GMP manufacturing process and being shelf-stable for 24-months.

With its novel Mechanism of Action, AVM0703 also has the potential to treat HIV and auto-immune disorders. This one drug could become a platform treating multiple conditions.

It is AVM’s core mission to develop treatments which improve outcomes without causing additional suffering. Reducing the toxicities of cancer treatment and finding cures for those without hope is a personal mission for AVM’s founder whose own son, Henry, was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma at the age of 14 and tragically lost his 11-month battle on July 3, 2015. The date of his death inspired the name AVM0703. It is Dr. Deisher’s hope that AVM0703 will provide better outcomes for other families.

To that end, she and the AVM team are committed to bringing AVM0703 to market. They have the ingenuity, the product, the experience, the team, and the drive to successfully commercialize AVM0703. AVM is in the midst of a $24 million raise in order for AVM0703 to transform the future of immunotherapy.

Article written by Jena Dalpez, Communications, AVM Biotechnology.

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