CytoDyn Inc (OTCMKTS:CYDY) announced Monday that two more coronavirus (COVID-19) patients have been treated with the company’s drug leronlimab since Thursday, bringing the number of patients treated with the drug to four.
The use of leronlimab, which has other therapeutic indications as a treatment for HIV and certain breast cancers, is being administered under an emergency Investigational New Drug Application recently granted by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The new patients, like the two before them, are being treated at a leading New York City hospital, the company said.
Specifically, leronlimab is intended to serve as a therapy for patients experiencing respiratory complications as a result of the virus.
Bruce Patterson, an advisor to CytoDyn and CEO of the diagnostics company IncellDx, said his company has worked to validate leronlimab as a treatment option.
“IncellDx has developed specific companion diagnostic tests to determine the efficacy and dosing of leronlimab in these severe cases of COVID-19,” Patterson said in a statement.
“We believe that leronlimab acts by enhancing the immune response while mitigating the ‘cytokine storm’ that leads to morbidity and mortality in these patients.”
CytoDyn has a team in place ready to provide support if there are any safety concerns. Though the coronavirus is new, leronlimab has demonstrated a strong safety profile in nine clinical trials with more than 800 people, the company said.
“We are encouraged that the onsite medical team is reporting no safety issues, and our team continues to be responsive and supportive in any way we can,” CytoDyn CEO Nader Pourhassan said.
As of Monday morning, at least 34,354 cases of the coronavirus have been detected in the US, and at least 414 people have died, according to CNN. Globally, those numbers are 341,000 and 14,700, respectively.
Aside from the coronavirus, CytoDyn is developing leronlimab to battle multiple diseases. The company has also filed an IND application and a Phase 2 clinical trial protocol with the FDA to treat patients with NASH — damage caused by a build-up of fat in the liver.
Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel