COVID R&D Alliance launches trial of Amgen, UCB, Takeda drugs
(Reuters) – Amgen Inc, UCB SA and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc on Monday launched a global trial to identify whether any of three different drugs can reduce the severity of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients by moderating the immune system’s response to the disease.
The drugmakers are part of the COVID Research & Development Alliance, a group of more than 20 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies cooperating to speed development of therapies for the disease that has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide.
The study initially will test whether Amgen’s psoriasis drug Otezla, Takeda’s experimental anti-inflammatory lanadelumab, and UCB’s experimental immune system-inhibitor zilucoplan can prevent the body’s own defenses from overreacting to the coronavirus, which can lead to serious, sometimes fatal, tissue and organ damage.
The three compounds “have a plausible biologic rationale in terms of effect on immune response or the hyper-immune response that some people develop,” said Amgen research chief David Reese.