Humanigen Inc (OTCQB:HGEN) announced Monday that 12 patients with coronavirus (COVID-19)-associated pneumonia treated with its drug lenzilumab showed a median recovery time of five days and a 100% survival rate at the data cut-off point in a Mayo Clinic study. Shares rose sharply.
Patients also showed improvements in oxygenation, temperature, inflammatory cytokines and other parameters.
The study was published in a manuscript titled, “First Clinical Use of Lenzilumab to Neutralize GM-CSF in Patients with Severe and Critical COVID-19 Pneumonia.”
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“Lenzilumab use was associated with improved clinical outcomes and oxygen requirement, with no reported mortality,” said Zelalem Temesgen, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in a statement. “We did not observe any treatment-emergent adverse events attributable to lenzilumab and it was well-tolerated.”
Lenzilumab is designed to treat the cytokine storm, an overactive immune system response that can cause fever and inflammation and potentially lead to organ failure.
“It is extremely encouraging to see this initial group of high-risk patients with severe and critical COVID-19 pneumonia show clinical improvement on lenzilumab, and at the data cut-off point, 11 of them discharged from the hospital,” Humanigen CEO Cameron Durant added.
“All 12 patients had at least one risk factor associated with poor outcomes, such as age, smoking history, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, high BMI, and elevated inflammatory markers, with several patients having multiple such risk factors.”
All 12 patients were hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic and had severe or critical pneumonia as a result of the coronavirus. The patients required oxygen supplementation and had elevation in at least one inflammatory biomarker prior to receiving lenzilumab. The median age was 65 years old.
Shares raced up over 49% in New York to $6.02 each.
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