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Oxford-based biopharmaceutical firm working on COVID-19 treatment

Oxford-based biopharmaceutical firm working on COVID-19 treatment study

Oxford-based biopharmaceutical company - Izana Bioscience - is working on an antibody therapy for the treatment of patients with rapidly worsening COVID-19 symptoms.

Ergomed, the specialist services provider to the pharmaceutical industry, is providing support for an antibody therapy for the treatment of patients with rapidly worsening COVID-19 symptoms. The programme is led by Izana Bioscience - an Oxford-based biopharmaceutical company.

Izana is focused on the development of namilumab, the company's phase III-ready, fully human monoclonal antibody therapy targeting granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. (GM-CSF), currently in late-stage clinical development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

GM-CSF is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that plays a central role in a broad range of immunemediated diseases. The cytokine has been found in higher levels of COVID-19 ICU patients, according to recent data from China1 suggesting that early intervention could be beneficial in patients with rapidly worsening COVID-19.

The compassionate use programme will gather data from hospitalised, rapidly worsening COVID-19 patients, and has the overall objective of treating them before they are admitted to intensive care or require ventilation. Research is being conducted at the Humanitas Research Hospitals in Bergamo and Milan.

Dr Someit Sidhu, Chief Executive and Co-founder of Izana Bioscience, said: "We are very pleased to be supporting this programme with our anti-GM-CSF mAb, namilumab, for the potential treatment of critically-ill COVID-19 patients. The role of GM-CSF in immunemediated diseases is backed by a strong body of evidence and our growing understanding of COVID-19. Evidence suggests that anti GM-CSF therapy has the potential to change the way patients’ immune systems respond to the virus, and therefore to reduce dangerous inflammation and support recovery."