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FibroGen Begins Phase II Study for Acute Coronavirus in US

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Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read
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FibroGen, Inc. FGEN announced that it has initiated a phase II study, evaluating the efficacy and safety of pamrevlumab in hospitalized patients with acute COVID-19 infection. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study will enroll around 130 patients with the COVID-19 infection in acute stage in the United States.

The primary objective of the above-mentioned study is to check the effect of pamrevlumab on blood oxygenation in patients with the COVID-19 infection. It has been observed that most patients with acute COVID-19 infection have bilateral interstitial pneumonia, which causes reduction in oxygenation, resulting in severe respiratory failure.

Pamrevlumab is a first-in-class antibody that inhibits the activity of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a common factor in fibrotic and proliferative disorders.  CTGF may promote vascular leakage and induce pulmonary edema or excess fluid in the lungs. Administration of pamrevlumab may reverse this edema and thus improve oxygenation in patients with COVID-19-led pneumonia.

Meanwhile, a second planned U.S. study is expected to assess the longer-term efficacy and safety of pamrevlumab in patients who recovered or are recovering from COVID-19 infection with evidence of interstitial lung disease.

Shares of FibroGen have lost 0.2% year to date compared with the industry’s decline of 4%.

Earlier this month, FibroGen initiated a phase II/III open-label, study (BOREA) in Italy, which is investigating the efficacy and safety of pamrevlumab in patients with severe COVID-19 infection. The study will include 68 hospitalized patients who will receive either pamrevlumab or the standard of care.

Notably, the entire world is hoping for a rapid development of a treatment/antibody to treat COVID-19 or a vaccine to prevent the disease.

Several marketed drugs like Roche’s RHHBY IL-6 inhibitor Actemra, Incyte/Novarts’ JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor Jakafi, AstraZeneca’s AZN BTK inhibitor Calquence, Amgen’s AMGN PDE4 inhibitor Otezla, Sanofi/Regeneron’s IL-6 inhibitor Kevzara et al are being evaluated to treat respiratory complications associated with COVID-19.

Zacks Rank

FibroGen currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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