Candidate: Ganovo® (danoprevir)


Type: Oral hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor

Status: Ascletis on March 24 trumpeted successful results from a Chinese clinical trial, the first such study of Ganovo in patients with COVID-19, assessing Ganovo compared with ritonavir (NCT04291729). The company stated that after 4- to 12-day treatment of Ganovo combined with ritonavir, all 11 patients with moderate COVID-19—two treatment-naïve, nine treatment-experienced—were discharged from the hospital. The first negative RT-PCR test occurred at a median of 2 days, with occurrences ranging from 1 to 8 days, and absorption in CT scans occurred at a median 3 days, ranging from 2 to 4 days. The trial was conducted at The Ninth Hospital of Nanchang. Ascletis announced the discharge of the study’s first three patients on February 26.

“Clinical findings suggest that danoprevir combined with ritonavir is a promising therapeutic option for COVID-19,” Ascletis stated.

In February, Ascletis said it was actively assisting “relevant medical institutions and medical researchers” in clinical trials assessing the combination of Ascletis’ ASC09 and ritonavir for COVID-19, following a request they made to the company. Ascletis applied in January to the National Medical Products Administration and its Drug Evaluation Center to include ritonavir and ASC09 fixed-dose combination into the national emergency channel.

ASC09 is in other Chinese clinical trials, including another study in combination with ritonavir (ChiCTR2000029603), and studies in combination with ritonavir compared with AbbVie’s Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) (NCT04261907), and in combination with Tamiflu (oseltamivir) compared with ritonavir/Tamiflu and Tamiflu alone (NCT04261270). Tamiflu is distributed in the U.S. by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, under license from Gilead Sciences.

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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