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Joint COVID-19 trial begins testing drugs from Amgen, UCB and Takeda

Trial will test therapeutic candidates in hospitalised COVID-19 patients

The COVID-19 R&D Alliance has enrolled the first patient in a trial testing therapeutic candidates from Amgen, UCB and Takeda.

The COMMUNITY trial is testing a number of drugs from members of the COVID-19 R&D Alliance, a cooperative of over 20 pharma and life sciences companies working together in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

As part of the alliance, members are sharing clinical trial data and real-world evidence, as well as crowd-sourcing early-stage candidates to identify mechanisms or treatments that could be effective against COVID-19.

The initial therapies set to be tested within the COMMUNITY trial are Amgen’s psoriasis med Otezla (apremilast), UCB’s investigational myasthenia gravis treatment zilucoplan and Takeda’s hereditary angioedema drug Takhzyro (lanadelumab).

These candidates have been selected based on their potential to suppress or control the immune response and resulting inflammation observed in patients with severe COVID-19.

Amgen’s Otezla has already entered the trial, while Takeda and UCB’s candidates are expected to enter within the coming weeks.

“As this insidious virus rapidly spreads around the globe, doctors need options to treat hospitalised patients who are actively sick and experiencing a range of symptoms as the disease progresses,” said David Reese, executive vice president research and development at Amgen.

“Working hand-in-hand with our peers, we hope to find options that could potentially save the lives of patients who will need treatments for COVID-19 before widespread availability of a vaccine,” he added.

The COMMUNITY trial is testing therapeutic candidates in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, which includes patients who may require either ongoing medical care, supplemental oxygen, non-invasive ventilation, high-flow oxygen devices or invasive mechanical ventilation.

It is enrolling hospitalised intensive care unit (ICU) as well as non-ICU patients with the aim of gaining a broader understanding of the use of therapeutic interventions in hospitalised COVID-19 patients facing a range of symptoms.

The trial is set to be conducted in a number of regions that were selected to address potential barriers to access within the study of potential COVID-19 therapeutics.

This includes trial sites in the US, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and other countries.

“COVID is not confined to one country, making it imperative that we share the challenges, successes and insights in real time” said Dhavalkumar Patel, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of UCB.

“By sharing our expertise and resources, we hope to arm care teams with promising investigational therapies to help patients who cannot wait,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

1st December 2020

From: Research

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