Nitric Oxide Prodrugs
Nitric oxide is an endogenously produced free radical released by cells as part of the innate immune response to pathogens. Nitric oxide is a unique alternative to antibiotics because it has unparalleled broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity compared to existing drugs. Furthermore, nitric oxide kills bacteria via multiple mechanisms, including nitrosative and oxidative stresses that damage DNA, lipid membranes, proteins, and iron-sulfur clusters.
Vast is developing nitric oxide prodrugs that can be inhaled on demand using dry powder inhalers, meter dose inhalers, or aerosolized solution formulations to target a broad range of severe respiratory infections. Once deposited in the lungs, the prodrugs begin to degrade with total nitric oxide release durations ranging from 1 to 24 hours depending on the specific chemistry.
The company has broad, worldwide patent rights including an exclusive license to four issued patents and pending patent applications as well as its own pending patent applications. The issued patents cover multiple nitric oxide-releasing compounds and their pharmaceutical formulations. In addition, the pending patent applications cover additional nitric oxide related materials and uses.