Humanigen Inc (NASDAQ:HGEN), which is focused on preventing and treating the immune hyper-response called ‘cytokine storm’ with lenzilumab, announced Friday that MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC treated its first COVID-19 patient with the drug.
The Burlingame, California-based company said the primary goal of this Phase 3 randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled clinical trial is to determine if lenzilumab can help hospitalized patients with COVID-19 recover faster.
As many as 89% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are at risk of a complication called cytokine storm, a harmful inflammation that has been the leading cause of COVID-19 death.
READ: Humanigen says first patient dosed in NIH-run ACTIV-5 ‘Big Effect Trial’ evaluating lenzilumab for COVID-19
Humanigen noted that MedStar Washington Hospital Center is one of 18 sites in the US approved to enroll eligible patients to study lenzilumab, designed specifically to stop this storm. Eligible patients can participate in this trial while also receiving other standard-of-care therapies as recommended by their treating physician.
“Given the growing number of cases in the DC area seen in the past few weeks, we were particularly motivated to ensure our Phase 3 study was enrolling and accessible,” said CEO Dr Cameron Durrant in a statement.
“We have been impressed with the hospital leadership and trial investigators at MedStar Washington, and worked together with speed and efficiency to get this trial location ready to enroll patients.”
The company's stock recently traded 5.6% higher to $10.94 a share in New York.
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