Top-line from Orphazyme A/S’ phase II/III trial of arimoclomol for treating inclusion body myositis, a muscle-wasting disease, failed to hit its primary and secondary endpoints. The data caused investors to pull back sharply as shares of Copenhagen-based Orphazyme (NASDAQ:ORPH) had dropped 28.97% on March 29 to close at $8.80 per share.
Shares of Humanigen Inc. (NASDAQ:HGEN) leapt 54.5% to $21.61 March 29 on news that its monoclonal antibody, lenzilumab, improved the relative likelihood of survival without mechanical ventilation in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, setting the company up to submit an application for emergency use authorization (EUA) in the U.S. "as soon as possible," it said. Separately, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, the Eli Lilly and Co.-Abcellera Biologics Inc.-developed therapy bamlanivimab and the Vir Biotechnology Inc.-Glaxosmithkline plc candidate VIR-7831, demonstrated a 70% relative reduction in persistently high SARS-CoV-2 viral load at day seven compared to placebo for low-risk adult patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, the companies reported.
Arbutus Biopharma Corp. this month gained the go-ahead from regulators to start a phase Ia/Ib trial with its oral capsid inhibitor, AB-836, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, an event that drew more attention to the busy space and brought renewed speculation about RNAi bids against HBV, including Arbutus’ own.
LONDON – After the extraordinary public accusation by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that it published “outdated” information on the interim results of the phase III U.S. trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, Astrazeneca plc has rushed through the full primary analysis, showing 76% efficacy in preventing symptomatic disease. That is 3% lower than the headline figure in the interim data published on March 22. But with the confidence interval ranging from 68%-82%, it is consistent with the pre-specified interim analysis claim of 79% efficacy – and would appear to indicate the data safety monitoring board’s (DSMB) concern that the company, “may have provided an incomplete view,” was misplaced.
With so many headlines touting drugs in development for the likes of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, an illness in the same ballpark has been back-seated: alcoholic hepatitis (AH), which is on the rise, under-recognized and brings a one-month mortality rate that averages 26%.
RNA therapy developer Proqr Therapeutics NV’s phase I/II study of adults with Usher syndrome and non-syndromic retinitis pigmentosa met all its key objectives, prompting the company to plan two parallel pivotal phase II/III studies that could start by year-end. The company wasted no time as it has already discussed next steps with the FDA to support the therapy’s registration “as soon as possible,” Aniz Girach, Proqr’s chief medical officer, told investors during a March 24 investor call.