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Pharnext and the University Hospital Institute Méditérranée Infection Announce a Joint Effort to Evaluate Repurposed Drugs for Potential Use Against the COVID-19 Virus

Rapid in vitro testing of repurposed drug candidates identified

by Pharnext’s PLEOTHERAPYTM Artificial Intelligence platform


PARIS, France, 8:00am, April 22, 2020 (CET) – Pharnext SA (FR0011191287 - ALPHA), an advanced clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering a new approach to developing innovative drug combinations based on big genomic data and artificial intelligence (AI), and the University Hospital Institute (UHI) Méditérranée Infection, the only UHI in France devoted specifically to research in infectious and tropical diseases and clinical microbiology in France, today announced a new joint effort dedicated to researching potential drug candidates for fighting COVID-19 virus.

The joint activities will focus on rapidly testing in vitro a number of already approved drugs that were previously identified by Pharnext as potential candidates for fighting COVID-19 using its PLEOTHERAPYTM AI platform. The testing will also include several high priority drug combination candidates against the COVID-19 virus, also identified by Pharnext using its PLEOTHERAPYTM AI platform. The testing will be performed by the UHI Méditérranée Infection in preclinical studies and will build upon the groundbreaking work of this institute.


We anticipate that with such an efficient and highly qualified team, important in vitro results will be forthcoming” said Daniel Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., Founder and President of the Scientific Advisory Board of Pharnext.

We are all engaged in the same medical fight to treat COVID-19 patients as fast as possible to slow down the epidemic and prevent, treat severe forms of the disease” said Didier Raoult, M.D., Ph.D., Founder and Head of the UHI Méditérranée Infection.


About COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (nCoV-2019) virus, a coronavirus like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, which first emerged five months ago in Asia, and which has infected more than 2.3 million individuals and caused more than 160,000 deaths worldwide according to the latest World Health Organization report. As of today, there are no approved treatments against COVID-19 and vaccines are still in their early development. 

About Pharnext

Pharnext is an advanced clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for orphan and common neurodegenerative diseases that currently lack curative and/or disease-modifying treatments. Pharnext has two lead products in clinical development. PXT3003 completed an international Phase 3 trial with positive topline results for the treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A and benefits from orphan drug status in Europe and the United States. PXT864 has generated encouraging Phase 2 results in Alzheimer‫’s disease. Pharnext has developed a new drug discovery paradigm based on big genomic data and artificial intelligence: PLEOTHERAPY™. Pharnext identifies and develops synergic combinations of drugs called PLEODRUG™. The Company was founded by renowned scientists and entrepreneurs, including Professor Daniel Cohen, pioneer in modern genomics, and is supported by a world-class scientific team. More information at

Pharnext is listed on the Euronext Growth Stock Exchange in Paris (ISIN code: FR0011191287).

About the University Hospital Institute (UHI) Méditérranée Infection

Funded by the investment program “Avenir” of the French Government, the University Hospital Institute (UHI) Méditerranée Infection gathers research laboratories, treatment of patients and training programs specialized in the fight of infectious diseases. Professor Didier Raoult, one of the most renowned microbiologists in Europe, is the head of this institute.

The UHI Méditerranée Infection aims at condensing the means of fight against infectious diseases, first cause of death in the world (17 million deaths per year), in a major and strategic core at local, national and international levels. To achieve this goal, the institute activities is divided in three sectors:

-          Innovative specialized clinical departments at the forefront of technology by unifying and developing three infectious diseases departments in Marseilles,

-          Attracting international first-class researchers to develop research on infectious diseases,

-          Transforming this knowledge into useful elements for humans, such as diagnostic or therapeutic products, and developing special interactions with national and regional industrial partners.

The founding members of the UHI Méditerranée Infection are: the Aix-Marseilles University, the association of public hospitals in Marseilles : « Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Marseille » (APHM), the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), the French Army Health Department, the Mérieux Foundation, the « Etablissement Français du Sang » (EFS) and the French public research organization: « Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale » (INSERM).

The UHI Méditerranée Infection was built with the financial support of the Investment Program “Avenir” managed by the French Government, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the French National Research Agency (ANR), the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region, the French department Bouches du Rhône, the Aix-Marseille Provence Metropolis and the city of Marseilles.

More information at

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Last Updated: 24-Apr-2020