AIC649 in Corona
A drug candidate with the potential to become a first-line pandemic therapy

AiCuris has discovered a novel biological immunomodulator, AIC649, a proprietary inactivated parapoxvirus particle preparation. AIC649’s ability to boost the immune system against unrelated viruses gives the compound the potential to act as a broad, first-line therapy for current and future pandemics.

AIC649 is currently in development as a curative treatment for chronic hepatitis B. In this indication, AiCuris has successfully completed a clinical phase 1 trial with AIC649 in cHepB patients. The study showed safety of the compound as well as provided preliminary evidence, that a single dose of AIC649 could stimulate the patient’s immune system.

Given the compounds potential as a new treatment in pandemic situations, AiCuris is currently preparing for a clinical pilot trial to test AIC649 as first-line therapy against Corona viruses versus placebo in patients suffering from asymptomatic infections.

Mode of action

The inactivated parapox virus particle, that mimic a virus type or another pathogen, is a potent immune modulator that has been shown to induce a broad-spectrum antiviral response in various animal models of acute and chronic infections. Antiviral activity was observed in animal infection models when the drug was either given in a prophylactic setting or when applied post-infection.

Mechanistically, the immediate and broad-spectrum antiviral properties suggest that this agent acts via stimulation of the innate arm of the host’s immune system. In line with this, it has been shown that it is taken up by antigen presenting cells (APCs) inducing their maturation and activation. A proinflammatory response is accompanied by a subsequent induction of anti-inflammatory and Th2 (T helper cell 2) related cytokines. Taken together, the basis for the potent and broad antiviral activity of AIC649 is the induction of a natural, regulated and self-limiting innate immune response that leads to the release of physiologically significant amounts of different cytokines with antiviral potential.

AIC649 boosts the immune system against viral infections and might have potential as a broad-acting, first-line pandemic therapy

Next milestones for AIC649 in Corona:

  • Prepare Proof-of-Concept trial in agreement with agencies
  • Conduct clinical pilot trial in Corona patients with AIC649 against placebo
  • Partner search (ideally with CMC capacities) to accelerate clinical development and bring the drug to patients as soon as possible

More information on AIC649:



If you have further questions regarding partnering of our projects please contact:

Dr. Igor Orshanskiy
Associate Director
Business Development &
Alliance Management
AiCuris Anti-infective Cures GmbH
Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 475
42117 Wuppertal
Phone: +49 (0)202 317 63 - 0
Fax: +49 (0)202 317 63 - 1177