For the fast and efficient delivery of its innovative drug COR-101 against COVID-19, CORAT Therapeutics GmbH announces the partnership with Dermapharm Holding SE, a manufacturer of branded pharmaceuticals. With its own development, production facilities as well as distribution capabilities, Dermapharm Holding SE is a strong industrial partner for the further development of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody COR-101, which is currently in the clinical phase. The partnership is intended to accelerate clinical development and facilitate the expansion of COR-101 production to make the drug available to patients more quickly.

Currently, there is no approved, effective, antiviral-specific treatment for hospitalised patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms. While vaccines will remain the most important tool in fighting the pandemic, they will not be able to completely prevent the occurrence of severe cases of the disease. Therefore, this therapy is another tool that is needed. By acquiring the equity investment in CORAT we are not only providing the funds needed to accelerate the development process, but also our expertise in manufacturing antibody drugs.

Dr Hans-Georg Feldmeier, CEO of Dermapharm Holding SE

Press release (PDF): englishgerman

Our laboratory tests indicate that COR-101 recognizes the particularly aggressive new „delta” variant B.1.617.2, which is rapidly replacing the “alpha” variant B.1.1.7

Dr. Andreas Herrmann, CEO, CORAT Therapeutics

On May 10th, the WHO classified the B.1.617.2 SARS-CoV-2 variants, first detected in India, as “of concern”. According to current data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) the “delta” variant B.1.617.2 has replaced previous SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the “alpha” variant B.1.1.7, currently prevalent in Germany. According to ECDC analysis, the mutations likely increase transmissibility and decrease neutralization by convalescent plasma and currently approved therapeutic antibodies, explaining the sharp increase in the number of cases in India in recent weeks. The currently used vaccines obviously have different efficacies against the newly emerging variants. Also, while vaccines can protect healthy people, they cannot cure people already suffering from COVID-19; moreover, not everyone responds to vaccination. For these patient groups, CORAT Therapeutics GmbH is developing a drug that has an effect against SARS-CoV-2 directly.

Press release (PDF) (english)(german)

CORAT secures 12,7 Mio € from Lower Saxony State, private investors, and the German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF).

NBank Capital and private investors from Braunschweig, each having participated in previous financing rounds, renewed their investments. The current round of financing includes additional new investors from Braunschweig. Additionally, CORAT Therapeutics GmbH is to receive up to seven million euros from the federal funding program „Research and development of urgently needed therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2“ to support clinical development of COR-101.

CORAT has completed all the necessary development steps on schedule so far. Now, it is important to maintain the fast development and to continue with the necessary clinical trials without delay. The government of Lower Saxony is excited to continue this success story.

Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Lower Saxony State Secretary of Economics

Press release (PDF): englishgerman

CORAT’s CEO Dr. Andreas Herrmann and CSO Dr. André Frenzel comment in international television on the start of clinical studies with CORAT Therapeutics SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibody COR-101 against COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

The article can be viewed at the following link:

COVID-19 Special: The challenge of developing a cure

Source: Deutsche Welle Berlin

Tübingen, Germany, 23.4.2021 – CORAT Therapeutics initiated a Phase Ib/II clinical trial evaluating the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of COR-101 in a total of 45 patients at five sites in Germany

CORAT Therapeutics GmbH announced the start of a clinical trial with COR-101 for treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. The novel therapeutic antibody may complement currently approved antibody drugs, which are not indicated for moderate to severe COVID-19 cases due to side effects during advanced stages of the disease. Yesterday, the first patient was treated at the University Hospital of Tuebingen under the direction of Prof. Dr. Helmut Salih, Medical Director of the Clinical Cooperation Unit (KKE) Translational Immunology and national coordinating investigator of the clinical trial.

“The promising antibody drug COR-101 shows that research made in Lower Saxony can provide an important building block on the way out of the pandemic. The clinical test phase that started yesterday gives hope that the Braunschweig project can soon save lives.”

Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Lower Saxony Minister of Economic Affairs

Press release (PDF): englishgerman

CORAT Therapeutics GmbH obtained regulatory authorization for clinical phase Ib/II trial with the SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing human antibody COR-101.

The study (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT04674566) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multicenter, first-in-human, phase Ib/II study to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, immunogenicity, and efficacy of COR-101 in hospitalized patients with moderate to severe COVID-19.

We are very happy to have reached this crucial step in COR-101 development. Many thanks to the support of the State of Lower Saxony and our private investors. We feel confident that COR-101 can fill the gap in the medical need for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients that have moderate and severe symptoms, where no other specific treatment is available at this time worldwide. The development of specific therapeutics to treat COVID-19 diseases is next to vaccination and testing an important pillar to effectively fight the pandemic.”

Dr. Andreas Herrmann, CEO of CORAT

press release

Pressemeldung in deutscher Sprache

A second financing round was closed with NBank Capital, the investment company of NBank. Additional investors came from the private sector in Braunschweig. CORAT Therapeutics is in close coordination with the regulatory authorities and expects the green light for the start of clinical testing shortly.

“The development of a drug against Corona must not fail because of money. We need drugs against Corona just as urgently as vaccines. The Braunschweig biotech company CORAT Therapeutics GmbH is close to the goal of testing a drug on patients that has been highly effective in all experiments to date. That is why we as a state are providing further risk capital so that valuable time is not lost. We will continue to provide intensive support for this Lower Saxony success story.”

Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Minister of Economics

Read the press release of State of Lower Saxony here.

  • COR-101 decreased SARS-CoV-2 virus load in the lung by more than 99%
  • COR-101 induced recovery after 2 days, compared to 7 days untreated

CORAT Therapeutics GmbH today reports the successful conclusion of hamster disease model tests of their lead candidate COR-101 against COVID-19. It induced recovery of SARS-CoV-2 infected hamsters within two days. In contrast, without treatment, the hamsters only started to reach the same health status after a full week. Treatment with COR-101 substantially reduced the weight loss after infection, which indicates the general health state. But since the main life-threatening effects of the virus are happening in the lung, the virus titer was measured directly in this organ which mainly contributes to lethality of SARS-CoV-2.

We are especially happy to report that COR-101 drastically reduced the amount of SARS-CoV-2 in the lung. Already after three days, an average of less than 1 % of the virus titer of the untreated control group could be detected after treatment with COR-101. This confirms the excellent neutralizing capability that we already measured in the laboratory. It demonstrates that COR-101 efficiently neutralizes the virus in a living organism and prevents disease progression. Further, in contrast to plasma therapy and the currently emergency approved antibodies in the US, our recombinant antibody is especially designed not to induce overshooting immune responses which contribute to the lethality in the lung. We achieved this by carefully removing the respective signals from the molecule before starting its production

Dr. Andreas Herrmann, CEO of CORAT Therapeutics

CORAT Therapeutics currently intensively works to get regulatory approval for the start of the first-in-man studies next month. In contrast to all vaccine studies so far, these clinical studies will include COVID-19 patients from the start, since the treatment aims to directly protect infected patients. Therefore, preliminary efficacy is chosen as secondary endpoint of the study. It is also expected that this effect can be clinically demonstrated much quicker than in the vaccine studies.
COR-101 is a fully human monoclonal IgG antibody that binds a very broad area of the virus surface. Its mode of action recently has been discovered by solving the atomic structure of its interaction with SARS-CoV-2. The results showed that it covers a much larger surface than other antibodies currently in development. “This also may explain why COR-101 is more resistant to mutations of the virus surface than other antibodies. It is capable to neutralize even a virus version with seven mutations in the receptor binding region of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein”, comments Dr. Herrmann.

icon Read the press release with the full story: (english) – (german)

first vials of COR-101

Because SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus, many people have not yet developed antibodies against the pathogen. Vaccines can protect healthy people, but they cannot cure people affected by COVID-19. Furthermore, not everyone responds to the vaccine. Passive immunisation by administering antibodies can help here for both, curing those people affected and prevent infection and/or onset of the disease for healthy people that come into contact with the virus. We therefore developed such a drug against the SARS-CoV-2 virus based on a human antibody, which was produced using biotechnological methods, i.e. in the test tubs. The structure of this antibody and its mode of action in neutralizing Coronavirus infection have now been published (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3754550).

The crystal structure of COR-101
Mechanism of action of COR-101: The binding site of the biotechnologically produced fully human antibody COR-101 (green) on the virus surface is almost identical to that of the human receptor ACE2 (blue), which is the docking site of the coronavirus to our tissue. When COR-101 is bound, the virus is unable to use its spike structure (red) to attach itself to our cells in order to infect them, thus preventing it from multiplying (Image: CORAT Therapeutics).

Our antibody COR-101 is a fully human antibody of the same type that our body normally generates after infection or vaccination but produced by biotechnological methods. Together with Joop van den Heuvel and Thomas Kluenemann from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, the atomic structure of the interaction between the antibody COR-101 and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has now been elucidated. The results show that COR-101 blocks exactly that binding site on the surface of the virus which the virus needs for docking to human cells. Moreover, COR-101 covers an extraordinarily large area and with very high binding strength. As a result, the virus can no longer attack and penetrate the cells and multiply.

“We know that a vaccine does not work in every person, and this is especially observed in older people. There are patients with other diseases that cannot be vaccinated as well. Unfortunately, these are precisely the two groups of people, who usually have a higher risk of developing COVID-19. At this point, our antibody COR-101 comes in. Since COR-101 permanently occupies the essential contact point between the virus and our body, the virus can no longer use its “spike” proteins to infect us. Therefore, we expect COR-101 to be able to help all those, who already have COVID-19 but whose immune system was unable to initiate the necessary immune response in time. We will also examine whether COR-101 can protect both medical staff and risk groups from infection.”

Dr. Andreas Herrmann, Managing Director of CORAT Therapeutics

Unlike the typical vaccines currently under investigation, antibody drugs do not require sophisticated freezing logistics, they are very stable and robust molecules. A century ago, doctors carried vials of antibodies in their pockets for weeks without refrigeration, so that they were always ready for use against tetanus or diphtheria, for example. COR-101 is therefore expected to have much simpler and cheaper logistics for the distribution than RNA vaccines.

icon Read the press release with the full story: (english)(german)

icon-crystal See details of the the molecular structure of the interaction of COR-101 with the coronavirus spike protein here

durchstarterpreis award ceremony
“And the winner is: CORAT Therapeutics!” The online award ceremony with the Nominees (top) and Stefan Muhle, Dr. Althusmann and Dr. Sabine Johannsen (left to right). (Photos: NBank)

In an event with Economics Minister Dr. Althusmann, Dr. Sabine Johannsen, State Secretary for Science and Culture and Stefan Muhle, State Secretary in Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Economics, Labour, Transport and Digitisation, CORAT Therapeutics won this year’s startup Award „Durchstarterpreis“ for corona solutions of the State of Lower Saxony.

Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people will not have access to COVID-19 vaccine by 2021, so an antibody-based drug for the treatment of COVID-19 patients suffering from a severe course of the disease will save thousands of lives and prevent later complications. CORAT could make a significant contribution to the treatment of corona patients worldwide.

From the Statement of the Jury

The “Durchstarterpreis” honours the best start-ups from Lower Saxony and is awarded by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economics, Labour, Transport and Digitisation, the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, the Investment and Promotion Bank NBank and the Lower Saxony Entrepreneurial Associations (UVN). This year, the winners were selected from 92 applicants from all economic sectors.