QN-165 (formerly referred to as AS1411) is a novel aptamer-based investigational drug candidate under development and evaluation with the potential to treat viral based-infectious diseases and different types of cancers. Aptamers are oligonucleotide or peptide molecules that bind to a specific target molecule and are typically created by selection from a large random sequence pool. The QN-165 aptamer is a G-rich oligonucleotide that targets and binds to nucleolin, a protein that is present on the surface of tumor cells.

Qualigen partnered with University of Louisville to exclusively develop QN-165 for inhibiting or treating COVID-19. Proof-of-concept in vitro studies demonstrate potential to protect cells from the damaging effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection. QN-165 exhibits an encouraging safety profile and GMP manufacturing for clinical trials has been secured.

The QN-165 aptamer has been tested in over 100 patients and is well tolerated with no evidence of severe side effects, with at least 7 patients having long-lasting clinical responses, where their cancers either disappeared or shrank substantially.

QN-165 is also a key component of Qualigen’s anti-nucleolin agent-conjugated nanoparticle drug candidates: QN-247, QN-247RE and QN-247CE.