Thousand Oaks-based biopharma giant Amgen Inc., which is part of the COVID R&D Alliance consortium of companies, will participate in the initiative’s first COVID-19 patient clinical trial. An Amgen drug is among those to be tested.
Called the I-SPY COVID Trial, it will evaluate the efficacy of three drugs on COVID-19 patients who require high-flow oxygen, or respiratory support, the initiative said on Monday. These drugs were chosen for their potential to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome in such patients.
Amgen’s Otezla, used to treat psoriasis, will be tested along with a drug in development by AbbVieo that was designed to treat liver fibrosis, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s Firazyr, developed to treat hereditary angioedema, a disorder causes areas of the body to swell, including the airway. The drugs, although used to treat other ailments, are of interest because of their effect on patients who develop severe respiratory problems as a result of COVID.
More drug candidates from other Alliance companies will be introduced in the coming weeks, the organization said in a statement.
The Alliance, formed in April, is made up of more than 20 biopharmaceutical and life science companies from around the world. These world leaders focus on developing potential therapies for COVID-19 and its related symptoms.
Shares of Amgen (AMGN) closed up $2.69, or 1.1 percent, to $247.36 on the Nasdaq on Monday, a day when the overall Nasdaq was up 1.5 percent.