The Lancet Respiratory Medicine Publishes Peer-Reviewed Paper and Independent Expert Commentary on Positive Phase 3 Lenzilumab Results
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, announced today The Lancet Respiratory Medicine (“Lancet”), an internationally trusted, peer-reviewed source of clinical, public health, and global health knowledge, published positive results from Humanigen’s LIVE-AIR Phase 3 randomized, controlled trial of lenzilumab in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, as well as an independent expert commentary. The Lancet paper concludes “LIVE-AIR showed that lenzilumab treatment of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 can improve the likelihood of survival without the need for mechanical ventilation, with a safety profile similar to that of placebo.”2
“Publication of LIVE-AIR results in this peer-reviewed medical journal is a major achievement. Our goal was to demonstrate that lenzilumab, a variant-agnostic therapy, could address the unmet need in treatment of COVID-19 patients by reducing death or mechanical ventilation. The results describe the positive impact lenzilumab has on improving survival without the need for invasive mechanical ventilation in COVID-19 patients upon hospitalization,” said Cameron Durrant, Chairman and CEO, Humanigen. “As the paper describes ‘60% of LIVE-AIR patients were on room air or low-flow oxygen support. … (Raising) the possibility that lenzilumab might be positioned for use before ICU admission and progression of respiratory failure requiring high-flow oxygen and non-invasive or invasive ventilation.’”2
“This study of the treatment to prevent hyperinflammatory immune response that occurs in some patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 is important,” said Zelalem Temesgen, M.D., Mayo Clinic infectious disease researcher and principal investigator. “The need is great for more therapies for newly hospitalized patients prior to respiratory failure to reduce mortality or mechanical ventilation.”
Lenzilumab is not authorized, or approved, in any country.
“One of the key components of the detrimental hyperinflammatory response in COVID-19 is granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). ... excessive GM-CSF production can contribute to the dysregulated immune response in severe COVID-19, in which, upstream of IL-1 and IL-6, activated T cells target neutrophils and macrophages. Agents that interfere with its actions have high plausibility for benefit, not just in COVID-19, but in other acute inflammatory conditions,”1 noted the commentary.