CCR5 Receptor Appears Effective in Modulating Inflammation
A Washington based biotechnology company developing leronlimab (PRO 140), a CCR5 antagonist with the potential for multiple therapeutic indications, announced the availability of the pre-print version of the manuscript describing the immunological mechanism by which leronlimab restores immune function and impacts disease in COVID-19 patients.
This manuscript, Disruption of the CCL5/RANTES-CCR5 Pathway Restores Immune Homeostasis and Reduces Plasma Viral Load in Critical COVID-19, has been shared with the World Health Organization and is currently under peer review, said CytoDyn, Inc., as of May 6, 2020.
As described in the pre-print, in a cohort of 10 critically ill patients, after treatment with leronlimab, these critically ill patients experienced reversed hyperimmune activation and inflammation, as well as reversed immunosuppression, thereby facilitating a more effective immune response correlated with decreases in SARS-CoV-2 level in blood.
These results demonstrate a novel approach to resolving unchecked inflammation while restoring immunologic deficiencies.
This is an important finding since according to various studies, a major driver of severe COVID-19 disease is excessive inflammation.
Nader Pourhassan, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of CytoDyn said in a press statement, “We are now most hopeful the entire medical community will understand the potential benefit leronlimab can provide critically ill COVID-19 patients."
"Moreover, this discovery by Dr. Bruce Patterson that leronlimab decreases plasma viral load may have tremendous long-term positive ramifications to bring this pandemic under control. We are grateful that we are able to release this research at such a critical time for patients throughout the world.”
Leronlimab (PRO 140) is being used as a treatment for severe COVID-19 under the emergency Investigational New Drug (IND) recently granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Leronlimab is a drug candidate that is a CCR5 antagonist with the potential for multiple therapeutic indications. Leronlimab belongs to a group of HIV drugs called CCR5 antagonists.
The CCR5 receptor appears to play a central role in modulating immune cell trafficking to sites of inflammation. It may be crucial in the development of acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and other inflammatory conditions.
Clinical studies by others further support the concept that blocking CCR5 using a chemical inhibitor can reduce the clinical impact of acute GvHD without significantly affecting the engraftment of transplanted bone marrow stem cells.
Previously, CytoDyn announced it is seeking a compassionate use designation for leronlimab for the treatment of COVID-19 patients who are ineligible for participation in its two existing clinical trials. If this request is granted by the FDA, it will significantly expand the pool of patients who would be eligible to receive leronlimab therapy.
CytoDyn is a late-stage biotechnology company developing innovative treatments for multiple therapeutic indications based on leronlimab, a novel humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the CCR5 receptor.
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