Candidate: Lambda (peginterferon lambda)

Type: Late-stage, first-in-class, type III interferon (IFN) designed to stimulate immune responses critical for the development of host protection during viral infections. Lambda targets type III IFN receptors which are distinct from the type I IFN receptors targeted by IFN alfa, resulting in activation of the same Jak-STAT signal transduction cascade.

Status: Mount Sinai said June 18 it had launched a Phase II randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate Lambda in hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving supplemental oxygen.

The trial is expected to recruit 66 patients who will receive an injection of Lambda under their skin as a single, one-time dose. Mount Sinai said its researchers believe Lambda can help the immune system control the virus infection, decreasing the duration and severity of COVID-19. The trial’s principal investigator is Thomas Marron, MD, PhD, assistant director of Early Phase and Immunotherapy Clinical Trials at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai.

Scott Friedman, MD, Dean for Therapeutic Discovery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, contacted Lambda maker Eiger Biopharmaceuticals, which agreed to donate the drug for the trial.

Eiger and Friedman received a $500,000 donation from the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund started by Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Steve Kirsch, who in turn found matching funds from donors that include Corrigan Walla Foundation and David Baszucki, the founder and CEO of Roblox Corporation, and his wife, author Jan Ellison Baszucki.

In April, Eiger said the first patients were dosed in a Phase II study of Lambda in outpatients with mild COVID-19 at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Approximately 120 patients were to be randomized 1:1 to a single subcutaneous dose of Lambda or normal saline placebo to evaluate the efficacy of Lambda in reducing the duration of viral shedding of SARS-CoV-2 virus and in reducing duration of symptoms and hospitalization in patients with mild COVID-19. Patients were to be followed for 28 days.

COVID-19: 200 Candidates and Counting

To navigate through the >200 potential therapeutic and vaccine options for COVID-19, GEN has grouped the candidates into four broad categories based on their developmental and (where applicable) clinical progress:

FRONT RUNNER – the most promising therapeutics/vaccines based on clinical progress, favorable data or both.

DEFINITELY MAYBE – earlier phases with promising partners, or more advanced candidates in development that have generated uneven data.

KEEPING AN EYE ON… – interesting technology, attracting notable partners, or both, but preliminary data.

TOO SOON TO TELL – longshots pending additional experimental and/or clinical data.

GEN has also tagged the most common treatment types:


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