IC14: Biotech Company in Woolloongabba Developed COVID-19 Drug for Trial in the US

A biotech company based in Woolloongabba and led by top immunologist Ian Frazer has developed IC14, a COVID-19 drug that will begin trial for high-risk patients in the United States.

Mr Frazer and his team at Implicit Bioscience developed the monoclonal treatment to reduce the damage and symptoms of COVID-19 in the patient’s body and facilitates a faster recovery time. IC14 will be used, alongside remdesivir, on hospitalised patients who are presenting low blood oxygen levels and respiratory issues.  

The drug works to control inflammation but it was not specifically developed for COVID-19. Mr Frazer’s team was working on IC14 for nearly a decade as the treatment could potentially cure diseases that cause severe inflammation and long-lasting damage. 

“The chronic diseases that afflict us as we age are largely the result of inappropriate inflammation, so the ability of IC14 to reset the level of inflammation should be game-changing for these diseases,” the expert said. 

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Mr Frazer, who was cited for developing the Gardasil vaccine that prevents Human Papillomavirus and was named 2006 Australian of the Year, said that 300 to 500 people are in the U.S. trials with Implicit Bioscience’s Seattle office. The Brisbane-based professor hopes to see the results of the trial in three to six months. However, the full results of the trial will be published in early 2022. 

If IC14 is proven to be effective, it will be recommended as a treatment routine for COVID-19 patients across the world and prevent more deaths due to the viral disease. Mr Frazer said that while vaccines are important, new viral strains highlight the importance of developing drugs that could be used for intervention when a patient contracts the virus.