Humanigen Inc (OCTMKTS:HGEN) has appointed David Kovacs to the newly created role of head of public policy relating to issues stemming from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
His appointment comes as the company is seeking to carry out a Phase III clinical trial for its drug lenzilumab to treat so-called cytokine storm, a coronavirus-related condition that can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
In a statement Tuesday, Humanigen noted that Kovacs has extensive experience shaping policy and financial strategy in both mature and emerging markets and currently serves as a strategic advisor for multiple public and private companies.
Previously, Kovacs served in senior roles in private equity and the investment banking industry in roles with the Blackstone Group, Citigroup, and the Hinduja Group.
"Given the recent news regarding our plans for a Phase III study of coronavirus treatment, we will be required to work across disciplines when interacting with regulatory and administrative agencies at the municipal, state, and federal levels, not only domestically but also abroad,” said CEO Cameron Durrant.
“David brings a unique perspective to the development of public policies relating to such issues and will assist in formulating and executing our plans in this area."
Kovacs commented: "Humanigen has pioneered the field of GM-CSF neutralization with lenzilumab, and with the completion of two Phase I and Phase II studies, including in patients with severe respiratory disease, lenzilumab has demonstrated an excellent and proven safety and tolerability profile, offering an alternative potential therapeutic solution in COVID-19 for already fragile, high-risk patients. With the potential to prevent acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and death in these patients, I am very excited about the prospect of helping Humanigen advance lenzilumab's delivery to market.”
The New York company’s stock recently traded up 7% to $1.28 a share in New York.
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