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CytoDyn stock jumps on positive Phase 2 coronavirus trials

CytoDyn chief executive Nader Pourhassan

Shares in CytoDyn lifted after the biotech startup said its new drug showed good signs as a treatment for mild-to-moderate coronavirus patients.

The US firm said its leronlimab treatment led to a greater improvement in patients after three days, which saw 90% of patient scores improve, than the placebo, which saw 71% of scores improve, in completed in Phase 2 trials.

CytoDyn chief executive Nader Pourhassan (pictured)said on Wednesday the drug showed “a statistically significant improvement” in treating the virus.

He added: “In the mild-to-moderate population, it is important to have a therapeutic option for COVID-19 in patients who are showing signs of rapid clinical deterioration.”

CytoDyn to register results in US, UK and EU

Pourhassan continued: “We will make a case for immediate approval of leronlimab for this population of COVID-19 patients, not only in the US, but in the UK and other countries around the world.”

The study also used The National Early Warning Score 2, a scale developed by Britain’s Royal College of Physicians to identify patients at risk for rapid clinical deterioration requiring critical care.

By this measure, patients in the leronlimab group were more than twice as likely to experience an improvement than the placebo group after two weeks. Half of leronlimab patients improved by that metric, compared to 20% of placebo patients.

The Washington-based health firm, which also develops treatments for cancer and HIV, rose more than 7% in stock trading to close at $4.46 on Wednesday.

Biotech reaction

CytoDyn has a 14-day relative strength index (RSI) of 44.85 suggests the company is trading in technically neutral territory. RSI scores range from 0 to 100, where the stock is considered overbought when the index is above 70 and oversold when below 30.

CytoDyn, founded in 2002, said it will report its findings to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the UK Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the EU European Medicines Agency.

CytoDyn is one of a host of firms looking for a treatment for coronavirus pandemic, which has soared to 20.7 million cases and killed 749,028 around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Several other marketed drugs such as Novartis inhibitor Jakafi; AstraZeneca’s Calquence, and Amgen’s Otezla, among others, are being tested to see if they can treat respiratory complications associated with coronavirus.

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Roger Baird

Roger Baird is News Editor at Finixio. He has worked as a financial journalist for 20 years reporting on companies, capital markets and the UK economy.