Candidate: Soliris® (eculizumab)

Type: Complement inhibitor approved for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).

Status: On November 4, investigators from the COVID-19 ICU at Hôpital Raymond Poincaré in Garches, France, published results from a nonrandomized proof-of-concept, 80-patient study in The Lancet suggesting Soliris may improve survival and reduce hypoxia in patients with severe COVID-19. The study showed an 82.9% survival rate in patients receiving Soliris, compared with 62.2% of patients not treated with the complement inhibitor.

However, the study also cautioned: “Our data also suggest that treatment with eculizumab may be associated with an increased risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia. Though in our study, the survival and clinical improvement benefits outweighed the risks of developing ventilator-associated infections with eculizumab treatment, larger, randomized studies are needed to perform a more extensive risk:benefit analysis.”

Alexion said March 24 it had discussed possible options to investigate Soliris in COVID-19 with global health authorities, in order to better understand the role of terminal complement inhibition in managing the severe pneumonia associated with the virus. Alexion added that it had provided Soliris as an experimental emergency treatment for a small number of patients with COVID-19 infection and severe pneumonia at the request of physicians, and in accordance with relevant national regulatory agencies.

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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