CTI BioPharma has reported topline data where its oral drug, pacritinib, failed to meet statistical significance for the primary goal of the PRE-VENT clinical trial in severe Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital.

Pacritinib is an experimental oral kinase inhibitor.

The double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled multicentre trial analysed pacritinib plus standard of care against placebo plus standard of care in Covid-19 subjects and included those with and without cancer.

The proportion of subjects advancing to receive invasive mechanical ventilation and/or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or succumbed by day 28 was the trial’s primary goal.

The trial was recently modified to a Phase II design due to the accessibility to Covid-19 vaccines and the evolving pandemic situation.

The final assessment was carried out after randomising 200 subjects in the trial.

According to the trial findings, 26.3% of subjects in the pacritinib arm progressed to receive invasive mechanical ventilation and/or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or died by day 28 Versus 24.8% in the placebo arm.

Data suggest that the treatment did not offer a statistically significant improvement in the primary goal, CTI BioPharma noted.

Pacritinib was demonstrated to be well-tolerated in subjects with reduced rates of grade 3+ events.

Serious adverse events were observed in the pacritinib arm versus the placebo arm.

CTI BioPharma president and CEO Adam Craig said: “Last year, we launched the PRE-VENT study of pacritinib in patients with severe Covid-19 in response to the pandemic and an unprecedented medical need to improve outcomes for these patients.

“Although pacritinib was well tolerated on study, it did not demonstrate a clinical benefit in treating the sickest patients with Covid-19.”

Based on the latest trial data, the company decided not to progress the pacritinib development to treat patients with severe Covid-19.