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February 5, 2021

Agenus reports positive data from Covid-19 iNKT cell therapy trial 

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.

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.”

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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.”

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