During recent discussions with the FDA, the agency suggested that developing leronlimab for critically ill COVID-19 patients in current situation in U.S. appears feasible
CytoDyn Inc. (OTCQB: CYDY) (“CytoDyn” or the “Company”), a late-stage biotechnology company developing leronlimab, a CCR5 antagonist with the potential for multiple therapeutic indications, today announced that it has submitted a Phase 3, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to evaluate the efficacy and safety of leronlimab in combination with standard of care for critically ill patients with COVID-19 pneumonia with need for invasive mechanical ventilation ("IMV”) or Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (“ECMO”).
In CytoDyn’s recent discussions with the FDA regarding potential marketing approval of leronlimab for critically ill COVID-19 population, the agency stated: “While there are currently fewer U.S. patients hospitalized for COVID-19 daily in the U.S. compared to when you submitted your initial request for an expanded access protocol in August 2021, the CDC reports that 38,332 patients were hospitalized daily in the U.S. during the week of November 7th-13th, 2021. In this context, conducting a clinical trial in the U.S. that could support marketing approval of leronlimab for the treatment of critically ill patients with COVID-19 appears feasible.”
If approved by the FDA, patients in this trial will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive up to four doses of 700 mg leronlimab with standard of care or placebo with standard of care administered by 30-minute IV infusion weekly over a four-week treatment period.
The subgroup analyses of 62 critically ill patients in the past Phase 3 CD12 trial for severe-to-critically ill population in the U.S. showed an 82% survival benefit at Day 14 after two doses of leronlimab on Day 0 and Day 7 (Odd Ratio 0.09 (CI 0.01, 0.72), p-value 0.0233) vs. standard of care plus placebo. The survival benefit fell from 82% to 30% after four weeks.
Nitya Ray, Ph.D., CytoDyn’s Chief Operating and Technology Officer, commented, “We expect further improvement in survival benefit in the new study with four weekly doses of leronlimab delivered by IV infusion. With IV dosing, the bioavailability and peak serum concentration of leronlimab will be much better compared to subcutaneous (“SC”) dosing. Furthermore, while the maximum serum concentration is achieved in less than two hours for IV infusion, it takes two to three days to reach the peak concentration in a SC setting. This is crucial in our view, especially for the critically ill patients who are on IMV or ECMO when every moment counts.”
Nader Pourhassan, Ph.D., CytoDyn’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Entering Phase 3 of the developmental trial is an exciting opportunity as we further explore leronlimab’s viability as a treatment option for critically ill COVID-19 patients. We are optimistic that the new trial with 4 dosages of leronlimab instead of the previous trial with 2 dosages will have much better outcome. We are very proud of our COVID-19 development team conducting two Phase 3 trials in Brazil while pursuing two more in the U.S. (critically ill and long-haulers). We have worked very hard to place our Company in a solid position in areas of HIV, Cancer, NASH, and COVID-19 and 2022 we believe will be a great year for us.”
CytoDyn is a late-stage biotechnology company developing innovative treatments for multiple therapeutic indications using leronlimab, a novel humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the CCR5 receptor. CCR5 plays a critical role in the ability of HIV to enter and infect healthy T-cells and appears to be implicated in tumor metastasis and immune-mediated illnesses, such as NASH.
CytoDyn successfully completed a Phase 3 pivotal trial using leronlimab combined with standard antiretroviral therapies in HIV-infected patients who were heavily treatment-experienced individuals with limited treatment options. CytoDyn is working diligently to resubmit its BLA for this HIV combination therapy since receiving a Refusal to File in July 2020. In July 2021, CytoDyn announced that it had submitted a dose justification report to the FDA, an integral step in the resubmission process for its BLA, which it expects to complete by the first quarter of calendar 2022. CytoDyn also completed a Phase 2b/3 investigative trial with leronlimab used as a once-weekly monotherapy for HIV-infected patients. CytoDyn plans to initiate a registration-directed study of leronlimab monotherapy indication. If successful, it could support a label expansion approval. Clinical results to date from two trials have shown that leronlimab can maintain a suppressed viral load in a sub-population of R5 HIV patients who chose to switch from their daily pills regimen to once-a-week subcutaneous dose of leronlimab. Several patients on leronlimab’s Phase 2b extension arm have remained virally suppressed for almost 7 years and many patients in our Phase 2b/3 investigative trial are passing two and some four years of monotherapy with suppressed viral load.
CytoDyn recently completed a Phase 2 clinical trial with leronlimab in mTNBC and a Phase 2 basket trial in solid tumor cancers (22 different cancer indications) A Phase 2 investigative trial for post-acute sequelae of SARS COV-2, also known as COVID-19 long-hauler’s, and a Phase 2 clinical trial for NASH are continuing. CytoDyn has already completed a Phase 2 and Phase 3 trial for mild-to-moderate and severe-to-critical COVID-19 patients, respectively, for which CytoDyn did not meet its primary or secondary endpoints, except for the secondary endpoint in the critically ill subpopulation. More information is at www.cytodyn.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Words and expressions reflecting optimism, satisfaction or disappointment with current prospects, as well as words such as “believes,” “hopes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “plans,” “anticipates” and variations thereof, or the use of future tense, identify forward-looking statements, but their absence does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements specifically include statements about leronlimab, its ability to provide positive health outcomes, the possible results of clinical trials, studies or other programs or ability to continue those programs, the ability to obtain regulatory approval for commercial sales, and the market for actual commercial sales. The Company’s forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance, and actual results could vary materially from those contained in or expressed by such statements due to risks and uncertainties including: (i) the regulatory determinations of leronlimab’s efficacy to treat human immunodeficiency virus (“HIV”) patients with multiple resistance to current standard of care, COVID-19 patients, and metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (“mTNBC”), among other indications, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and various drug regulatory agencies in other countries; (ii) the Company’s ability to raise additional capital to fund its operations; (iii) the Company’s ability to meet its debt obligations; (iv) the Company’s ability to enter into partnership or licensing arrangements with third-parties; (v) the Company’s ability to identify patients to enroll in its clinical trials in a timely fashion; (vi) the Company’s ability to achieve approval of a marketable product; (vii) the design, implementation and conduct of the Company’s clinical trials; (viii) the results of the Company’s clinical trials, including the possibility of unfavorable clinical trial results; (ix) the market for, and marketability of, any product that is approved; (x) the existence or development of vaccines, drugs, or other treatments that are viewed by medical professionals or patients as superior to the Company’s products; (xi) regulatory initiatives, compliance with governmental regulations and the regulatory approval process; (xii) legal proceedings, investigations or inquiries affecting the Company or its products; (xiii) general economic and business conditions; (xiv) changes in foreign, political, and social conditions; (xv) stockholder actions or proposals with regard to the Company, its management, or its board of directors; and (xvi) various other matters, many of which are beyond the Company’s control. The Company urges investors to consider specifically the various risk factors identified in its most recent Form 10-K, and any risk factors or cautionary statements included in any subsequent Form 10-Q or Form 8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, the Company does not undertake any responsibility to update any forward-looking statements to take into account events or circumstances that occur after the date of this press release.
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Cristina De Leon
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