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.
If the March 25 vote from a joint FDA advisory committee meeting is anything to go by, the long and bumpy development road for Pfizer Inc.’s tanezumab, a nonopioid pain drug, may have just gotten longer and bumpier. In what was nearly a unanimous vote, the Arthritis Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee said the sponsor’s proposed risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) was not adequate to ensure the benefits of tanezumab in alleviating osteoarthritis pain outweigh its risks, which include further joint deterioration.
With the December PDUFA date already blown, Pfizer Inc. is headed into a day-and-a-half FDA advisory committee meeting this week to make the case for 2.5-mg tanezumab, a potential first-in-class treatment in the U.S., partnered with Eli Lilly and Co. Inc., for chronic pain due to moderate to severe osteoarthritis.