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A natural product to fight symptoms related to COVID-19

The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) is launching a new clinical trial to evaluate the effect of hesperidin on symptoms related to COVID-19. This flavonoid naturally found in citrus fruits has distinct properties that may reduce the entry and replication of the SARS-CoV2 virus in the body along with the modulation of inflammatory mediators, thus potentially reducing symptoms and prevent complications from the disease.

It was after evaluating the results of an exhaustive analysis carried out by scientists from the Quebec biotech firm Ingenew Pharma that Dr. Jocelyn Dupuis, Principal Investigator of the study, and his team decided to assess the potential of hesperidin against COVID-19, through a clinical study. “We have determined, by pharmacological simulation, a therapeutic dosage of hesperidin which will be administered in this study and which considerably exceeds an amount that could be absorbed during a normal diet rich in citrus fruits,” says Dr. Dupuis.

Based on studies that have already demonstrated the ability of hesperidin to reduce the level of key cytokines (proteins) involved in the inflammatory storm seen in severe cases of COVID-19, the researchers hypothesize that the antioxidant activities of hesperidin as well as its properties to modulate inflammation and prevent entry/replication of SARS-CoV-2 could also provide additional protection to patients infected with COVID-19 by reducing symptoms related to the disease and the need for medical assistance.

To participate in the study, the 216 candidates sought must:
• Be aged 18 and over, and have received a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 within the previous 48 hours;
• Have at least one symptom related to COVID-19;
• Not to be hospitalized;
• Be prepared to take hesperidin or placebo for 14 days;
• Have no problem with blood clotting; and
• Not have had surgery within 2 weeks of participation or have surgery planned within 2 weeks.

To participate or for more information about the Hesperidin Study, call 1-833-917-3369.

COVID-19 is causing a growing impact on the health network, delaying, among other things, the diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases such as cancer, along with numerous surgical interventions. In addition, a growing proportion of people with COVID-19 suffer from persistent residual symptoms responsible for absenteeism and general decrease in their overall quality of life. By reducing the symptoms and complications associated with COVID-19 as well as their duration, hesperidin could allow patients to return to normal more quickly, and consequently reduce the overload of the healthcare network.

The Hesperidin study (NCT04715932) is fully funded by the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation. The study product is supplied by Ingenew Pharma.

About Hesperidin
A recent and extensive search of the scientific literature going back to SARS-CoV (2002) found that a compound well known for its anti-inflammatory effects [1], hesperidin, was one of the few among hundreds of chemical entities to effectively inhibit chymotrypsin type 3 protease (3CLpro), a structure vital to SARS-CoV replication [2]. Hesperidin could also interfere with virus entry by blocking the binding between the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein region binding domain and the angiotensin 2 converting enzyme (ACE2) on the surface of human cells [3]. This suggests that by interfering with or inhibiting 2 key proteins of SARS-CoV-2 necessary for entry and infection of cells, hesperidin could disrupt the rate of replication of the virus, allowing the infected subject to build up their natural immunity.

About the Montreal Heart Institute
Founded in 1954, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly strives for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in clinical and fundamental research, ultra-specialized care, professional training, and prevention. It is home to Canada’s largest cardiology research centre, cardiovascular prevention centre, and cardiovascular genetics centre. The Institute is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and has more than 2,000 employees, including 245 physicians and more than 85 researchers.

About Ingenew Pharma
Ingenew Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on addressing unmet medical needs and serving patients and families affected by serious and debilitating illnesses. Its primary therapeutic areas of interest include oncology, neurology, and dermatology. Ingenew’s current research and development efforts are evaluating proprietary preparations and delivery systems designed to improve the clinical efficacy and reduce toxicity and side effects associated with standard of care. At Ingenew Pharma, we leverage the extensive and successful track record of our scientists and apply adaptive-creative research and development principles to advance tangible and affordable medical solutions.

1. Ding Z, Sun G, Zhu Z: Hesperidin attenuates influenza A virus (H1N1) induced lung injury in rats through its anti-inflammatory effect. Antivir Ther 2018, 23:611-615.
2. Lin CW, Tsai FJ, Tsai CH, Lai CC, Wan L, Ho TY, Hsieh CC, Chao PD: Anti-SARS coronavirus 3C-like protease effects of Isatis indigotica root and plant-derived phenolic compounds. Antiviral Res 2005, 68:36-42.
3. Wu C, Liu Y, Yang Y, Zhang P, Zhong W, Wang Y, Wang Q, Xu Y, Li M, Li X, et al: Analysis of therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and discovery of potential drugs by computational methods. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B 2020.