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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

HIV drug shows ‘impressive’ results in critically ill COVID-19 patients

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Leronlimab-Vyrologix, a humanized monoclonal antibody drug used to treat HIV patients, showed impressive results in improving the immune function of critically ill COVID-19 patients in the United States. 

Developed by late-stage biotechnology company CytoDyn, Inc., Leronlimab-Vyrologix is a CCR5 (C-C chemokine receptor type 5) inhibiting drug that protects healthy T cells from viral infection. The CCR5 receptor, the National Center for Biotechnology Information says, plays a crucial role in modulating immune cell trafficking to sites of inflammation. 

CytoDyn, Inc.’s recent treatment of COVID-19 patients under emergency investigational drug with Leronlimab has shown impressive results as it reduced the plasma viral load and restored the immune function by the seventh day. (File photo/Norman Cruz)

“Because of the drug’s ability to mitigate cytokine storm, which is common in COVID-19 fatalities, it has become the basis for its study as a potential COVID-19 treatment,” CytoDyn said in a statement. 

CytoDyn’s recent treatment of patients under eIND (Emergency Investigational New Drug) with Leronlimab for COVID-19 infection has shown impressive results, with “hardly any” drug-related serious adverse events, as the drug reduced the plasma viral load and restored the immune function by the seventh day. 

The company has already completed its Phase 2 clinical trial for COVID-19, a double-blinded, randomized clinical trial for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients in the U.S. The company has also recently announced that it has completed the enrollment of 394 patients in its Phase 2b/3 randomized clinical trial for the severe-to-critically ill COVID-19 population.

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The drug’s ability to mitigate cytokine storm has become the basis for its study as a potential COVID-19 treatment.

CytoDyn has appointed Chiral Pharma, a subsidiary of New Marketlink Pharmaceutical Corporation (NMPC) as its authorized partner for the distribution of Leronlimab-Vyrologix to the Philippines subject to registration approval of the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.  Through the partnership, the companies are working to register Leronlimab under a licensed physician’s request for Compassionate Special Permit (CSP).

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