The University of California, Davis and InVixa Inc., a biopharmaceutical startup, have executed a licensing agreement for a novel method using inhaled statins to treat the severe respiratory disease known as COVID-19. The license, negotiated by the InnovationAccess team within the UC Davis Office of Research, provides exclusive access for InVixa to commercialize the technology developed at the university for COVID-19.
While statins are one of the most prescribed drugs on the market, typically used to treat cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease and stroke by lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, some studies have demonstrated a potential link to improved outcomes in some lung diseases due to statins’ immune-modulatory properties.
Dr. Amir Zeki, associate professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UC Davis and co-founder of InVixa, began investigating the potential use of statins to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2007. At the time, pre-clinical studies showed a clear positive effect; however, subsequent human clinical trials using oral statins yielded mixed findings.