November 10, 2020

U of L cell therapy startup plans to lead COVID-19 clinical trial

By Eli Hughes–

The cell therapy startup Koligo Therapeutics Inc. plans to test a new therapy for effectiveness in treating COVID-19. Koligo Therapeutics Inc. was founded by two U of L alumni and was recently acquired by biotech firm Orgenisis Inc.

The COVID-19 trial will focus on 75 patients and will test the cell therapy KT-PC-301’s ability to treat COVID-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome. KT-PC-301 is a cell therapy that is taken from the patient’s own fat tissue.

A small tissue sample is taken from the patient, it is then sent to Koligo to be made into KT-PC-301. Then, the treatment is administered through an IV and it works to reduce inflammation in the lungs. This clinical trial is being let by Chief of the U of L Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Disorders Medicine Mohamed Saad.

Koligo was originally founded by Stuart K. Williams II, Michael Hughes and Balamurugan Appakalai who started the company after co-inventing the cell therapy Kyslecel™.  This therapy was created as apart of U of L’s islet transplant program and is currently on the market as a treatment for pancreatitis.

Now that Koligo has been acquired by Orgenisis, they will still maintain their partnership with U of L, which has a stake in the company. They hope this deal will help expand the reach of their therapies.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

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