San Francisco based Blade Therapeutics, backed by OneVentures, is
a biotech company that develops small-molecule therapies for the treatment
of lung and liver fibrosis as well as the effects of viral infection.
Blade’s lead program, called BLD-2660, was developed to discover new
therapeutic approaches that can control the effects of fibrosis, and
thereby contribute to the treatment of a number of diseases.
As COVID-19 spread, pulmonary fibrosis emerged as a key concern in some
patients recovering from pneumonia caused by COVID-19, even after
mechanical ventilation. In response to this, Blade initiated a clinical
program to study BLD-2660 in the treatment of COVID-19.
Within two months of recognising the potential of BLD-2660 in treating
COVID-19 pneumonitis, the team at Blade filed and subsequently received
approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct a trial in
hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the hope of heading off the hyper immune
response that characterises this condition and preventing the resultant
lung injury. The trial of 120 hospitalised patients, who were given Blade's
oral drug twice a day over ten days, could be completed as soon as this
With the help of OneVentures, Blade recently completed the first stage of
trials in Australia. By doing research in Australia, it has not only
fast-tracked the clinical development path, and investigational new drug
approval by 12 months, but has also allowed the company to move the product
directly into COVID-19 patients, creating the potential to have an impact
during this global pandemic.
Dr Paul Kelly, OneVentures Managing Partner said “We are proud of the
efforts made by the small team at Blade to address the COVID-19 crisis. Its
proprietary compounds have very potent antiviral as well as other effects
that provide multiple pathways and mechanisms to benefit patients with this
condition. It’s especially pleasing to see how OneVentures investment and
Australia’s early clinical trial program accelerated the path to approval
from the FDA to initiate trials in COVID-19”.