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April 22, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – NIH panel warns against use of hydroxychloroquine – Karyopharm’s multiple myeloma drug investigated against Covid-19

By Allie Nawrat

22 April 2020 

A US National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel has recommended against the use of hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin as a Covid-19 treatment. Hydroxychloroquine, which was touted by President Donald Trump, could lead to heart issues and the combination may cause harm, said the panel.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for Hope Biosciences to conduct a third Covid-19 clinical trial. In the latest Phase II study, the company will investigate whether mesenchymal stem cells, which are associated with immunomodulatory and regenerative properties, could be a safe and effective therapeutic option against the novel coronavirus. The previous two studies are focused on prevention of Covid-19 infection. 

SOM Biotech has completed in-vitro analysis and identified three drug candidates that can be potentially used to treat Covid-19. The three candidates, which were discovered using the company’s artificial intelligence-based screening technology, inhibit the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in turn targeting viral replication.

OncoImmune has started a Phase III clinical trial of CD24Fc to assess the drug candidate’s ability to dampen inflammation caused by virus-induced cellar injuries in patients with Covid-19. The trial will enrol 230 patients with severe clinical symptoms at a minimum of ten medical centres across the US.

Norton Healthcare has enrolled the first participant for a Phase II clinical trial assessing low-dose selinexor, which is manufactured by Karyopharm Therapeutics, for Covid-19. Selinexor is the multiple myeloma drug, with antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that could be effective against the novel coronavirus.

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