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Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. VNDA along with The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research (a research arm of Northwell Health) announced that the first patient has been enrolled in the late-stage clinical study of ODYSSEY VLY-686-3501 on tradipitant for the treatment of neurogenic inflammation of the lung, secondary to COVID-19 infection.
Recruiment of patients is currently underway at the Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Vanda had earlier announced plans to conduct such a study beginning this month.
Per the company, the above-mentioned study is expected to randomize around 300 patients with severe COVID-19 infection who are suffering pneumonia and are dosed with either tradipitant or placebo. Vanda expects to accelerate enrollment in this study and announce results in the upcoming months.
Notably, the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is associated with a lower respiratory tract inflammation that often leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring mechanical ventilation.
We note that Vanda in-licensed tradipitant, a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist, from pharma giant Eli Lilly LLY. The candidate is currently not approved for any indication and is being developed for gastroparesis, motion sickness and atopic dermatitis.
Shares of Vanda have plunged 36.5% so far this year compared with the industry’s decrease of 2.9%.
In a separate press release, Vanda announced that it initiated the CALYPSO program to study the role that human genetic variations play in the COVID-19 infection and disease progression. The company is looking to collaborate with the University of Washington School of Medicine to conduct a pharmacogenetics study for patients with COVID-19.
The focus of the study will be on the genome sequencing of individual patients and the COVID-19 virus besides identifying genetic factors that correlate with disease progression and outcomes.
Meanwhile, several companies are testing their marketed drugs in studies to check the inflammatory response in patients with the severe coronavirus infection.
Earlier this month, Incyte INCY announced that it is working with the FDA to initiate a phase III study, RUXCOVID, for evaluating the efficacy and safety of Jakafi plus standard-of-care compared to the standard-of-care therapy alone in patients with COVID-19-associated cytokine storm.
Others include Roche’s RHHBY rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug Actemra and Regeneron/Sanofi’s RA drug Kevzara.
Vanda currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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