Humanigen Announces the Addition of BARDA and Expansion of CRADA with the U.S. Government to Develop Lenzilumab for COVID-19
Humanigen, Inc. (NASDAQ:HGEN) (“Humanigen”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on preventing and treating an immune hyper-response called cytokine storm with its lead drug candidate lenzilumab, today announced an expansion to the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) that the company had previously entered into with the Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND), to gain access to manufacturing capacity reserved by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agreement supports development of lenzilumab in advance of a potential Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19.
The amended CRADA, now co-signed by BARDA, provides Humanigen with access to manufacturing capacity reserved by BARDA for fill-finish product to accelerate the drug product manufacturing of lenzilumab. The initial agreement, originally signed in November 2020, complements Humanigen’s development efforts for lenzilumab by providing access to a full-scale, integrated team of manufacturing and regulatory subject matter experts and statistical support in anticipation of applying for EUA and subsequently a Biologics License Application (BLA) for lenzilumab as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Lenzilumab is currently in a Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
“It has been an honor to have the integrated expert team at BARDA prioritize lenzilumab research and development during this critical time,” said Cameron Durrant, MD, MBA, chief executive officer of Humanigen. “As we move closer to filing a potential EUA, the integrated support of BARDA and JPEO helps us with manufacturing capabilities as we ready operations to support access to lenzilumab.”
Humanigen's investigational treatment lenzilumab, a proprietary Humaneered anti-human granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) monoclonal antibody, is designed to prevent and treat an immune hyper-response called cytokine storm, a complication considered to be a leading cause of COVID-19 death. Data showed that up to 89 percent of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are at risk of this immune hyper-response, which is believed to trigger the acute respiratory distress syndrome in severe cases of COVID-19.