CytoDyn Inc (OTCQB:CYDY) announced Thursday that eight severe coronavirus (COVID-19) patients being treated with its drug leronlimab have shown a significant improvement after three days in several important biologic markers.
Initial patient test data has shown improvement in cytokines — proteins released by the immune system that can cause inflammation in high quantities — and a more normal ratio of helper T cells to killer T cells in the immune system, known as the CD4/CD8 ratio.
Leronlimab has been administered to 10 severely ill coronavirus patients in the New York City area under an emergency Investigational New Drug application granted by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
READ: CytoDyn files second clinical trial protocol to treat severely ill coronavirus patients with lernlimab
CytoDyn is also enrolling patients in a Phase 2 trial for coronavirus patients with mild-to-moderate indications and a Phase 2b/3 trial for patients who are critically ill.
Bruce Patterson, the CEO of CytoDyn’s diagnostic partner and advisor IncellDX, is impressed with the results so far.
“We are very pleased with our most recent laboratory data for patients treated with leronlimab for COVID-19 infection,” Patterson said in a statement.
“We continue to see increases in the profoundly decreased CD8 T-lymphocyte percentages by day three, normalization of CD4/CD8 ratios and resolving cytokine production including reduced IL-6 correlating with patient improvement. The current data suggests a trend toward the restoration of immune function and mitigation of the cytokine storm. This is consistent with prior laboratory results in the first four patients treated for COVID-19 with leronlimab.”
Seeing leronlimab’s initial success, CEO Nader Pourhassan and his team are also examining how best to distribute the drug across the country.
“As leronlimab continues to provide hope for many patients, our management team is focused to ensure we can distribute the drug across the country in a timely fashion,” Pourhassan said. “These results, although anecdotal, appear to be very promising.”
In addition to its use as a potential coronavirus treatment, leronlimab has other therapeutic indications as a treatment for HIV and certain breast cancers.
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