NewalR&D Ltd, London, holds granted patents to generation-3 ezrin peptide therapeutics. Ezrin peptide technology was reverse-engineered from HIV in London in 1993, but developed in Moscow, and the first ezrin peptide product (HEP-1, Gepon) was launched on the Russian market in 2001 by Immapharma ( another company I founded, at the Institute of Immunology Moscow), for the treatment of opportunistic infection and STDs, of viral, bacterial and fungal origin.
The generation-3 ezrin peptide product RepG3 owned by NewalR&D Ltd, London is patent protected world wide to 2036, and is anti-inflammatory (IL1 IL6 IL8 TNFa inhibitor) and B cell and T cell immune amplifier, with tissue regeneration activity, which has cured COVID in human volunteers.
The target market is treatment and prophylaxis of gain-of-function pathogens of pandemic potential. Ezrin peptides should be stock piled by health authorities ready for any more natural pandemics or accidental releases of bioweapons. Ezrin peptide technology also has therapeutic applications in the treatment of age-related inflammatory diseases and cancer.
Tell us about yourself?
I have a PhD in Molecular biology from University of Edinburgh. I then jumped to the City and was a Life Science investment manager at Lombard Odier. I launched my own consultancy in 1989:
I founded hVIVO PLC and also Nearmedic group, a bio-pharmaceutical company I established at the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow ( famous for the Sputnik 5 COVID vaccine). Nearmedic grew to a euro 100 million turnover profitable business in Russia over the following thirty years.
I have been living between London, Moscow and Cyprus for the previous three decades, but international conflict has cut my Russian connection and I am now back in London full time to expand the activities of NewalR&D. I am looking for investors and partners: ezrin peptides are already generating significant interest.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Stay diversified, maintain multiple options, expect the unexpected and try not to run out of money.
What problem does your business solve?
Broad spectrum Ezrin peptide therapy and prophylaxis is the solution to “The Next Pandemic” (Bill Gates). It is essential to have an instant therapeutic response to any novel gain of function pathogen.
Ezrin peptides represent a new therapeutic approach by modulating protein complex function and signalling, which also opens the way to new therapies for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and IBD, and also in cancer
What is the inspiration behind your business?
As a teenager, I just knew my mission was in bio-science and bio business: generally I sense my own destiny. After seven years at University and a five year City career, I jumped to run my own scientific and business consultancy.
The Soviet Union was collapsing in 1989, so I went to Moscow and launched JV Nearmedic, the first biotech start-up in what became the Russian Federation. In parallel, I was CEO of HIVER Ltd, an unorthodox HIV vaccine development company with shareholders including MRC, UCL, ICRF and Southwest Foundation for biomedical Research TX, USA. Unfortunately we ran out of money in the UK. In 1993, I invented ezrin peptide technology when I understood how HIV manipulates a semi-activation of T cell function in order to replicate efficiently (which is ezrin dependent). When I could not find a development partner in USA or Europe in the 1990s, I created my own in Russia. In the mid 1990s, I raised USD 10 million in London and grew Nearmedic In Moscow.
What is your magic sauce?
Ezrin peptide immune amplification (and inflammation suppression) is the solution to many medical problems. A simple example in chronic candida: there is an STD candida epidemic, pharmacies are stocked with anti-fungals, but they do not solve the long term endemic problem: in contrast ezrin peptides treat the disease and prevent re-infections. The same strategy has been used successful with COVID in volunteers in Russia, Germany and UK.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
I am trying to raise up to UK£30 million for NewalR&D Ltd, to develop and to launch ezrin peptide therapeutics in UK and Europe. I can build a profitable OTC business with this technology, where the course of treatment would be in the region of UK£50.
Nearmedic profitability in Russia was based on another successful immunomodulator called “Kagocel”, an oral polysaccharide TLR stimulator for influenza and other respiratory diseases.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Generally, the biggest problem in biotech start-ups is running out of money before you can generate positive cash-flow from either licensing or sales: don’t give up and try to stay aloft.
There are also problems with big egos in science and management that cause bust-ups that can cripple companies: try to maintain collective objectives.
Most recently, I have had to exit Russia due to war sanctions, leaving behind a valuable company.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
It is like fishing: put out the correct bate and some one will eventually bite. However, success depends on good technology, a talented team and enough capital.