An experimental COVID-19 drug cut the risk of dying in critically ill patients by more than half in a late-stage study — an optimistic development that propelled shares of the maker to new trading highs this week.
The drug sabizabulin was so effective at treating COVID-19 cases in hospitalized patients in the Phase 3 study that independent safety monitors recommended stopping the study early, according to biopharmaceutical company Veru Inc.
Veru officials said the experimental treatment reduced the risk of death by 55% in hospitalized patients with moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 compared to those receiving a placebo.
Independent observers did not identify any safety concerns with the drug during the study.
“This study represents a significant milestone in the global fight against COVID-19 as Sabizabulin is the first drug to show a clinically and statistically significant reduction in deaths in hospitalized patients with moderate to severe COVID-19,” CEO of Veru Mitchell Steiner said in a statement.
The promising results emerged amid growing fears of another wave of COVID-19 in the United States. Nevertheless, the number of cases remains low because the subvariant Omicron BA.2 is spreading.
Veru Inc. shares are up 70% in trading this week, at one point hitting a 52-week high of $14.57.
Veru’s results are yet to be peer-reviewed. The company said it plans to meet with US Food and Drug Administration officials to “discuss next steps, including filing an emergency use authorization application.”
The FDA previously accelerated the sabizabulin drug for clinical testing in January.
Researchers have continued developing treatments for COVID-19 patients to complement vaccines being developed by Pfizer, Moderna and other pharmaceutical companies.
Another treatment, the drug Paxlovid, made by Pfizer, received emergency use approval from the FDA last December. Pfizer said its research showed the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in high-risk adults — although the drug is intended for those who are yet to develop a serious illness.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/12/experimental-covid-19-drug-reduced-deaths-in-severe-cases-by-55-maker-claims/ The experimental COVID-19 drug reduced deaths by 55% in severe cases, the manufacturer claims