Humanigen Inc (NASDAQ:HGEN) announced on Monday that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to the company for the use of its lead drug candidate lenzilumab in preventing and treating an immune hyper-response called cytokine storm and neurotoxicity in patients undergoing chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy.
The Burlingame, California-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company said the patent covers the use of lenzilumab to prevent or treat cytokine release syndrome (CRS), neurotoxicity and otherwise inhibit or reduce incidence or severity of CAR-T-related toxicities in patients undergoing CAR-T cell therapy.
The company explained that Lenzilumab binds to and neutralizes granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which has been identified as a “key initiator” of the “inflammatory cascade triggering CAR-T cell therapy-related toxicities, such as cytokine release syndrome” and neurotoxicity, which have been associated with prolonged hospitalization and intensive care unit stay.
“We believe lenzilumab can potentially play an important role in enhancing CAR-T cell therapy, and we are committed to advancing the development of lenzilumab to address cytokine storm associated with CAR-T cell therapy and other areas,” Humanigen CEO Cameron Durrant said in a statement.
“This patent underscores Humanigen’s pioneering approach to neutralizing GM-CSF with lenzilumab and the value of our robust pipeline across the many disease areas where cytokine storm plays a critical role, including COVID-19 and acute graft-versus-host disease,” he added.
The patent, titled “Methods of Treating Immunotherapy-Related Toxicity Using a GM-CSF Antagonist,” was issued on December 22, 2020 as US Patent No. 10,870,703.
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