Agenus subsidiary AgenTus Therapeutics has reported positive preliminary data from its Phase I trial of iNKT cell therapy in patients with moderate to severe symptoms of Covid-19.

AgenTus is currently accruing and treating patients with severe symptoms of Covid-19 with its allogeneic iNKT cell therapy, with dose escalation progressing.

According to preliminary results, of the four patients dosed so far, three patients (75%) were extubated and discharged on receiving treatment.

Furthermore, two of them (50%) were extubated within 24 hours of dosing.

Agenus chairman and CEO Dr Garo Armen said: “We are heartened by these early results, which suggest that very sick patients who were admitted to intensive care units and intubated may benefit from a single administration of our iNKT cell therapy.

“iNKT cells can be manufactured at scale and so far, patients in this trial have tolerated the treatment well.”

The dose escalation is anticipated to complete in the first half of this year. A Phase II trial with data readouts is expected during the fourth quarter.

In a separate development, Atea Pharmaceuticals has dosed the first patient in the Phase II virology trial of AT-527 in mild or moderate Covid-19 patients in an outpatient setting.

An orally administered, direct-acting developmental antiviral agent, AT-527 is derived from its purine nucleotide prodrug platform.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II trial will analyse the antiviral activity, safety, and pharmacokinetics of AT-527 550mg twice-daily in adult patients with mild or moderate Covid-19 in an outpatient setting.

The trial will enrol 220 participants in the UK, Ireland and other countries.

Atea Pharmaceuticals founder and CEO Jean-Pierre Sommadossi said: “In collaboration with Roche, we are initiating a randomised virology study in the UK and Ireland, where Covid-19 is fast-spreading and an estimated 30-40% of new infections involve a new mutation.

“Importantly, this study is evaluating patients in an outpatient setting, which is the anticipated patient population of the upcoming Phase III trial.”

Cell & Gene Therapy Coverage on Clinical Trials Arena supported by Cytiva.

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