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Edesa Biotech, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on commercializing latestage, research-validated assets.

Edesa’s ARDS therapy gained international attention when the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Edesa was a recipient of a prestigious Strategic Innovation Fund grant in 2021

In 2020, the Markham-based company positioned itself on the frontline of the Covid-19 treatment race when one of its leading drug candidates showed great promise as a “rescue therapy” for hospitalized patients with a life-threatening form of respiratory failure, known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is a common condition that affects three million patients a year and accounts for 10% of ICU admissions globally. Covid has propelled these rates even higher.

What makes Edesa’s innovative therapy different than other pandemic countermeasures is that the company’s drug targets a patient’s dysregulated immune response rather than the virus itself. Thus, the drug is designed to be agnostic to the SARS-Cov2 virus and its variants – and could even offer hope to patients with ARDS caused by other respiratory pathogens, such as influenza.

Edesa gained international attention when the Canadian government announced financial support to evaluate the company’s ARDS drug in hospitalized Covid-19 patients who were running out of drug treatment options because traditional approaches had failed. This high profile vote of confidence has been paying off, with initial results pointing to a nearly 70% reduction in mortality among critically ill patients. While these preliminary results need to be confirmed in the final part of the company’s Phase 2/3 study, the data shows that Edesa’s drug has already saved lives among the most vulnerable patients.

In addition to its experimental ARDS therapy, Edesa’s development pipeline includes late-stage candidates for chronic inflammatory diseases. One of the company’s top targets is allergic contact dermatitis – the number-one occupational health issue for dermatology in Canada. Edesa’s innovative
drug is designed to have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, while providing a safer alternative to steroids. The investigational medicine is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2b confirmatory study, following a Phase 2 study that demonstrated significant efficacy across multiple disease symptoms.

As a company founded and supported by successful healthcare entrepreneurs, Edesa has always kept an eye on the big picture. In addition to its mission to provide novel homegrown therapeutics, the company has a broader vision of expanding Canada’s life science sector. The company is staunchly proud of its roots in the Greater Toronto Area and maintains close connections with local academic institutions. In fact, most of its team trained at nearby universities. By betting on people and science, Edesa believes it can not only help defeat Covid-19 and other diseases, but also foster the next generation of life science innovators.

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