Saillant Therapeutics Logo

Dutch Saillant Therapeutics to develop generic virus inhibiting therapy based on activation of a cellular master regulator, ending virus replication

Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 11 August 2020 Saillant Therapeutics, an innovative biotechnology start-up, developing promising small molecule-based therapies, today announced the swift advancement of an innovative groundbreaking generic virus-inhibiting treatment platform based on activation of a cellular master regulator. While many parties worldwide are focused on developing vaccines and therapies based on antibodies, Saillant targets the complete elimination of viruses, which presages the outbreak of most upcoming virus variants. The lead compound induces adaptive functions in infected cells.

In fact, with the preclinical compound, the protein production of viruses in a host cell is halted, thus inhibiting virus replication. While new vaccines and antibody solutions are focused on the current COVID-19 virus, the newly found mode of action also works against most virus infections such as, for instance, Dengue, Zika, and Ebola. The lung damage that follows with COVID-19 will also be prevented with this therapy.

Saillant is currently working on new formulations of the reference substance allowing the company to start clinical trials within one to two years. Preclinical studies are presently being conducted in collaboration with renowned academic groups from the USA and with CROs. 

Heart failure and Alzheimer’s

The company originally started with a novel therapy for heart failure. Using a heart failure animal model, Saillant found out that the new treatment was able to restore heart function in failing hearts after two weeks of treatment. Treated hearts showed normal geometry with no sign of scar tissue (fibrosis). The same mechanism also plays a vital role in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. Preclinical animal studies are currently underway for these indications.

Once heart cells and brain cells are under stress, there is only a limited period during which they can overcome this stress. If that fails, cell death occurs. The substance allows the anti-stress response to remain on for a longer time period in order for protein aggregates to be cleared from the cytosol and thus, no cell death occurs. As the cell survives and resumes its normal functionality, no fibrosis and therefore, no loss of functionality will occur.

Joost van Bree, CEO of Saillant Therapeutics, states:

“I am very excited that we have uncovered a novel mechanism of action with a broad field of therapeutic applications. The emergence of new viruses into the human population for instance, threatens global health and economic stability, as observed with the COVID-19 outbreak. Although virus-specific vaccines and therapeutic antibodies are possible solutions to this problem, it takes significant time and capital – $2.8 to 3.7 billion per vaccine – to develop these interventions. Besides, the ongoing evolution of viruses may cause vaccines to become ineffective. Therefore, there is an urgent need for antiviral drug therapies, like the one Saillant is developing right now, that can be effectively applied for any viral disease, regardless of the virus type.”

=== E N D S ===

About Saillant Therapeutics

Saillant Therapeutics, established in 2018 by Dr. Hamid el Azzouzi and Dr. Ad van Gorp, and recently joined by Dr. Joost van Bree as CEO, leverages its expertise in preclinical drug development to further validate and develop the promising therapeutic strategy of its ST-01 platform against acute ischemic stroke, heart failure (HF), Alzheimer’s disease and viral infections in general.

ST-01 activates a cellular master regulator, thus controlling adaptive functions in various cells and tissues. Therapeutic intervention through this regulator mechanism enables the prevention of tissue damage to vital organ systems such as the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system. The same mechanism also effectively inhibits intracellular virus replication.

Saillant Therapeutics has a product pipeline covering novel compounds of which three therapeutic leads were selected. To date, seed financing has enabled the preclinical development and validation of the ST-01 analogs. It is the ambition of Saillant to advance its ST-01 platform also towards a variety of applications, resulting in at least one lead drug candidate reaching the clinic before the end of 2022.

For more information, please visit

Forward-looking Statements

This press release of Saillant Therapeutics BV and its subsidiaries (“Saillant,” the “Company” or the “Group”) may contain forward-looking statements including without limitation those regarding Saillant’s financial projections, market expectations, developments, partnerships, plans, strategies, and capital expenditures.

The Company cautions that such forward-looking statements may involve certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ. Risks and uncertainties include without limitation the effect of competitive, political and economic factors, legal claims, the Company’s ability to protect intellectual property, fluctuations in exchange and interest rates, changes in taxation laws or rates, changes in legislation or accountancy practices and the Company’s ability to identify, develop and successfully commercialize new products, markets or technologies.

As a result, the Company’s actual performance, position, and financial results and statements may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set forth in such forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information, which should be taken as of their respective dates of issue unless required by laws or regulations.


Saillant therapeutics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Dr. Joost van Bree, CEO
Tel: +31 6 53917701

LifeSpring LifeSciences Communication, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Leon Melens
T: +31 6 538 16 427