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Karyopharm Starts Dosing With Selinexor for Coronavirus Infection

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Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read
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Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. KPTI announced that it has dosed the first patient in a phase II study evaluating a low dose of its oral XPO1 inhibitor, selinexor, in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 case.

The phase II coronavirus study will enroll around 230 patients in the United States, Europe and Israel. Karyopharm had earlier announced plans to conduct such a study beginning this month.

The randomized, placebo-controlled mid-stage study will evaluate the activity and safety of low dose selinexor (20mg) administered orally thrice a week for a period of two weeks in the given patient population. The primary endpoint of the study is to see the time to clinical improvement based on the Ordinal Scale. Secondary endpoints include the overall death rate at day 28 as well as the rate of, and time to mechanical ventilation.

Per the company, selinexor blocks the cellular protein XPO1 involved in both the replication of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes the deadly COVID-19 — and the inflammatory response to the virus.

Selinexor is currently approved at higher doses to treat relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. The drug is marketed under the trade name Xpovio in the United States. It is also under review in the EU for the same indication with decision expected in mid-2020.

Shares of Karyopharm were up 6.9% following the above announcement on Monday. In fact, the stock has rallied 30.7% so far this year against the industry’s decline of 13.7%.

As the coronavirus pandemic claims more and more lives with each passing day, the race to develop treatments/vaccines to combat this contagious disease intensified over the last couple of weeks.

The outbreak of COVID-19 wreaked a havoc worldwide and devastated mankind. There are more than 700,000 people infected in the United States and the death toll crossed 40,000.

Several companies are testing their marketed drugs in studies to check the inflammatory response in patients to the severe coronavirus infection.

Earlier this month, Bausch Health BHC initiated a clinical study on its marketed drug Virazole in combination with standard-of-care therapy to treat hospitalized adult patients in Canada with respiratory distress due to COVID-19.

Notably, a few other companies are also evaluating their marketed drugs in studies to address the deadly COVID-19. These include Roche’s RHHBY rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”) drug, Actemra, and Regeneron/Sanofi’s SNY RA drug, Kevzara.

Zacks Rank

Karyopharm currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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