New COVID treatment poised to revolutionize pandemic response

Science and Health

101 Therapeutics, led by the father-son duo Dr. Michael and Alec Goldberg, has unveiled promising developments in its pursuit of a novel COVID-19 treatment. Distinct from vaccines, the new treatment has shown exceptional efficacy against the virus and its variants, presenting a potential game-changer in the fight against the pandemic, 101 Therapeutics said this week.

In simple terms, the treatment binds to immune cells called macrophages. By focusing the treatment only on macrophages, it signals these cells to undergo a process called apoptosis, essentially a self-destruction mechanism.

This helps remove the infected cells from the body. The goal is to stop the dangerous immune overreaction (cytokine storm) and get rid of the virus in the process.

Co-founded by the Goldbergs, the company has assembled a team that includes a director of preclinical research, an IDF veteran contributing to the strategy team, and dedicated contractors working in Israel. With Michael Goldberg bringing extensive experience, including co-founding a healthcare team at a leading investment bank and leading a public biotech company for 17 years, the 101 Therapeutics team carries a track record of pushing boundaries in the biotechnology industry, 101 Therapeutics said.

Nipping it in the bud

Central to the company’s breakthrough is a treatment designed to confront the dysregulated immune response associated with severe COVID-19 cases, it said.

Alec Goldberg (credit: 101 Therapeutics)

“Very often, people talk about the cytokine storm, which is certainly part of the problem, but we think we have the most effective agent out there to treat it,” Michael Goldberg said, adding that the treatment goes an extra step by also eliminating the virus reservoir, potentially preventing longer-term complications.

Alec Goldberg said 101 Therapeutics adopts a “pathogen agnostic” approach, signifying that the treatment is not specific to a particular virus, such as SARS-CoV-2.


“Mutations, variants, all those kinds of things should not be an issue,” he said. “It should work against any variant mutation and should work against most future pathogens that could cause a pandemic.”

During tests, the new treatment has outperformed dexamethasone, the current standard of care based on the RECOVERY trial out of Oxford in the UK, the Goldbergs said, adding that their treatment exhibited superiority in terms of both efficacy and safety.

The company said it has made significant progress in its clinical trials.

“We’re now about to start that phase three,” Alec Goldberg said. “We’re just in the process of shipping the material from Israel to India.”

Progress and Future Plans

The company has collaborated with the Center for Scientific Innovation Research in India and is optimistic about obtaining emergency-use authorization in India, which would pave the way for global availability.

Despite their significant achievements, Michael Goldberg acknowledged challenges, particularly in public relations. The Israel-based company has been relatively quiet, compared with other entities in the global race against COVID-19. Despite this, the Goldbergs said they were confident in the efficacy of their treatment and are ready to be measured against any competitor worldwide.

“We’re ready to put up our results against any company, any technology, any academic, any university in the world,” Michael Goldberg said. “I think we have the best results, and now it’s appropriate to begin to let the world know what we’re doing.”

Now, at a critical juncture, as it enters Phase Three trials, the company recognizes the need to broaden its reach and engage with partners to ensure the widespread availability of its groundbreaking solution.

101 Therapeutics said it is poised for a significant role in shaping the future of infectious disease treatments, and if all goes according to plan, the world is about to take notice.