ARTIVedaTM positioned to address the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

Mateon Therapeutics, Inc. is a US oncology company focusing on TGF-β inhibitors as therapies against cancers and infectious diseases. Mateon will launch an Ayurvedic therapeutic for COVID-19, with its India partner Windlas Biotech Private Ltd., in late-December 2020. The TM product, ARTIVeda , is a formulated plant extract of the indigenous plant Artemisia, known in Sanskrit texts as Damanaka and Davana. ARTIVedaTM is the first Ayurvedic drug against COVID- 19 through TGF-β inhibition. It is broadly active against diseases of aging and infectious diseases including COVID-19.

ARTIVedaTM is expected to be effective through the entire infection cycle of COVID-19.
1. Prevention of COVID-19: Inhibition of viral binding to ACE2 receptor and inhibition of viral replication make this a prophylactic agent for prevention of COVID-19 [1-6].
2. Treatment of COVID-19: Clinical data demonstrated improvement in COVID-19 symptoms following treatment with ARTIVeda [7].
3. Recovery enhancer: Inhibition of TGF-β reduces scarring and reduces post-COVID-19 symptoms. Liver, lung, renal, and other organs fibrosis are inhibited [8].
4. Treatment of respiratory diseases in general. Inhibition of TGF-β has been shown to be effective against multiple viruses including influenza [9] and respiratory disorders such as allergic rhinitis [10].

The active component of ARTIVedaTM has been identified as artemisinin. Through proprietary GMP quality extraction and manufacturing processes, the Artemisia extract was rendered active against SARS-CoV-2 with robust Safety Index (SI) greater than 100 (ratio of nonspecific cell kill versus viral kill). Other extracts have SI <10. Testing was performed at the US NIAID core viral laboratory. The product is protected by a patent portfolio of over 15 international patents by Mateon’s R&D. The mechanism of action against COVID-19 has been confirmed in numerous international scientific/medical publications as listed below.

Mateon and Windlas have initiated a clinical trial scaling to 300 patients at 6 sites in India (including the prestigious AIIMS) with CTRI. Early read from ARTI-19 clinical trial suggests potent efficacy against COVID-19. The clinical study uses WHO scale from 1-asymptomatic to 8- death. In the treatment arm, 75% of patients who were moderate (WHO-scale-4) exhibited a drop to WHO-scale-3 by day “two” which discharged them from hospital. Majority (>80%) patients dropped to asymptomatic WHO-scale-1 by completion of one cycle of treatment (5 days-on, 5 days-off). Overall, the temporal sequence of the treatment demonstrated linear progression to asymptotic stage versus the control arm which exhibited high degree of randomness. The randomness can be explained by non-specific cocktail of anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drugs, many proven to be ineffective, including Remdesivir and Hydrochloroquinine [7]. This trial is supported by a recent independent study published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, which showed that the combination of Artemisinin + Quinoline (Piperaquine) versus Quinoline (Hydroxychloroquine or HCQ) cut the time to virus-free by 50% and time to hospital discharge by 40%.

Bottomline: Deployed broadly ARTIVedaTM has the ability to stop the pandemic in India by  cutting infectivity rate (R0) by at least 50%.