PGX-processed yeast beta-glucans as an inhalable immuno-therapeutic/-prophylactic for COVID-19-induced lung fibrosis
The long-term effects of COVID-19 on individual health remain to be elucidated, with numerous reports emerging of fibrotic changes in the lung beyond the acute phase of the disease. Considering the reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide, even a small percentage of these patients developing lung fibrosis can have detrimental consequences on our healthcare system. In this project, we seek to expand on preliminary results from an ongoing collaboration between the labs of Kjetil Ask and Todd Hoare at McMaster University and our industry partner Ceapro regarding the utility of yeast beta-glucan particles processed using Ceapro’s pressurized gas expanded liquids (PGX) technology for modulating the immune system and serving as an anti-fibrotic agent without any added drug. PGX processing both purifies and expands the raw yeast beta-glucan product to both remove components that can cause undesirable side-effects and reduce the density of the material to make the particles easier to inhale directly into the targeted lung tissue. To advance this promising technology to clinical trials, we aim to optimize the delivery of PGX-YBG to the lung and validate its performance for reducing lung fibrosis, both alone and loaded with an anti-inflammatory drug currently used for COVID-19 therapy.