The Dutch biotech company Kiadis Pharma will receive a subsidy of 9.5 million dollars (just under 8 million euros) from the US Department of Defense to further develop a drug against the corona virus, the company listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange announced on Tuesday .
Kiadis Pharma is investigating how so-called natural killer cells (NK cells), large white blood cells that form the immune system’s first line of defense against cancer cells and infections, can be used in the fight against the coronavirus. The entire research was funded with $ 9.5 million.
The biotech company expects the NK cells to be able to help fight the coronavirus because, according to the company, there is a correlation between the severity of the disease and a reduction in the number of NK cells.
“The broad antiviral activity of NK cells offers the possibility to protect patients against various respiratory infections such as influenza, corona and RSV,” writes Arthur Lahr of Kiadis. “With a successful outcome, we expect to receive more funding for the further development of K-NK-ID101 (the drug, ed.) And scaling up production in the US to millions of doses.”