Another repurposed drug bites the dust in Covid-19 as Angion bails on organ damage drug effort
Since the early days of the pandemic, drugmakers have taken a broad approach to repurposing other drugs in their pipeline against severe Covid-19 — a mission that has met, with a couple notable exceptions, little tangible success. Now, another small biotech is throwing its hands up after its organ damage drug turned up a dud in a severe Covid-19 study.
Angion’s ANG-3777 missed its primary and secondary endpoints in a Phase II study in severe Covid-19 patients with pneumonia at high risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome, the biotech said Wednesday.
Shares of $ANGN were trading down 9% after the closing bell at around $13 per share, a fairly muted response given the failure.
ANG-3777 was developed as a potential therapeutic for organ damage and fibrotic disease, and Angion hoped to take the drug into the sickest Covid-19 patients at risk of developing ARDS, a condition that compromises patients’ lungs and can prove fatal.
The Phase II ALI-201 study tested four doses of ANG-3777 in 59 Brazilian patients with another 61 receiving standard of care. The trial’s primary endpoint was survival free from the need for mechanical ventilation or dialysis at 28 days. There were more patient deaths in the ANG-3777 arm, Angion said, but those weren’t believed to be tied to the therapy.
With the loss, Angion is halting development of the drug in Covid-19 and refocusing its efforts in other indications.
“With the increasing availability of approved COVID-19 vaccines and the widespread assumption vaccines will reduce infection rates around the world, we will not continue the development of this COVID-19 program,” CEO Jay Venkatesan said in a statement. “Based on the promising activity of ANG-3777 in multiple animal models of lung injury, we will continue to evaluate the clinical development of ANG-3777 for acute lung injury populations.”
It’s another flop on the books for repurposed drugs for Covid-19, with only Gilead’s remdesivir, marketed as Veklury, crossing the finish line and emerging as standard of care in hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
Drugs like Fujifilm’s flu drug Avigan and Incyte’s Jakafi both flopped key studies of their own, mostly ending chances at use in Covid-19, although in the latter case drugmaker Incyte has held out hope its drug may still have some place in countering the pandemic. In March, the company said it would pursue a compassionate use program for Jakafi despite flopping a Phase III study in ARDS patients on mechanical ventilation.
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