SHORT HILLS, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humanigen, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGEN) (“Humanigen”), a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company focused on preventing and treating an immune hyper-response called ‘cytokine storm,’ today announced it entered into an agreement with PCI Pharma Services (PCI), a leading integrated global contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO), to provide importation, release and commercialization services in the United Kingdom (UK) for lenzilumab. Under the agreement, PCI will purchase lenzilumab for resale and distribution in the event a Conditional Marketing Authorization is received in the UK for use in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
“We continue our commercial preparation in the UK and in parallel are working closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to address regulatory requirements for a potential Conditional Marketing Authorization. With its global reach, PCI will provide a critical function in the supply chain, by directly purchasing lenzilumab for further distribution in the UK and facilitating this key process for Humanigen,” said Edward Jordan, Chief Commercial Officer. “It is anticipated that we will complete our response to MHRA soon after the top-line results from the ACTIV-5/BET-B clinical trial with lenzilumab are received.”
If authorized, lenzilumab will offer an important treatment option to patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue in the United Kingdom with more than 235,000 admitted year-to-date and with ~5,000 currently hospitalized.1 In addition, Humanigen believes that treatment with lenzilumab may deliver economic value to the healthcare system. Previously published research has demonstrated that treatment with lenzilumab may save the National Health Service over £10,000 per patient.2
Lenzilumab is an investigational product and is not approved or authorized in any country.
Lenzilumab is a proprietary Humaneered® first-in-class monoclonal antibody that has been proven to neutralize GM-CSF, a cytokine of critical importance in the hyperinflammatory cascade, sometimes referred to as cytokine release syndrome, or cytokine storm, associated with COVID-19 and other indications. Lenzilumab binds to and neutralizes GM-CSF, potentially improving outcomes for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Humanigen believes that GM-CSF neutralization with lenzilumab also has the potential to reduce the hyperinflammatory cascade known as cytokine release syndrome common to chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy and acute Graft versus Host Disease (aGvHD).
In CAR-T, lenzilumab successfully achieved the pre-specified primary endpoint at the recommended dose in a Phase 1b study with Yescarta® in which the overall response rate was 100% and no patient experienced severe cytokine release syndrome or severe neurotoxicity. Based on these results, Humanigen plans to test lenzilumab in a randomized, multicenter, potentially registrational, Phase 3 study (“SHIELD”) to evaluate its efficacy and safety when combined with Yescarta and Tecartus® CAR-T therapies in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Lenzilumab will also be tested to assess its ability to prevent and/or treat aGvHD in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
A study of lenzilumab is also underway for patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) exhibiting RAS pathway mutations. This study builds on evidence from a Phase 1 study, conducted by Humanigen, that showed RAS mutations are associated with hyper-proliferative features, which may be sensitive to GM-CSF neutralization.
Humanigen, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGEN) (“Humanigen”), is a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company focused on preventing and treating an immune hyper-response called ‘cytokine storm’. Lenzilumab is a first-in class antibody that binds to and neutralizes granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Results from preclinical models indicate GM-CSF is an upstream regulator of many inflammatory cytokines and chemokines involved in the cytokine storm. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, investigation showed high levels of GM-CSF secreting T cells were associated with disease severity and intensive care unit admission. Humanigen’s Phase 3 LIVE-AIR study suggests early intervention with lenzilumab may prevent consequences of a full-blown cytokine storm in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Humanigen is developing lenzilumab as a treatment for cytokine storm associated with COVID-19 and CD19-targeted CAR-T cell therapies and is also exploring the effectiveness of lenzilumab in other inflammatory conditions such as acute Graft versus Host Disease in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, eosinophilic asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. For more information, visit www.humanigen.com and follow Humanigen on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
About PCI Pharma Services
PCI is a leading global CDMO, providing clients with integrated end-to-end drug development, manufacturing and packaging capabilities that increase their products’ speed to market and opportunities for commercial success. PCI brings the proven experience that comes with more than 50 successful product launches each year and over five decades in the healthcare services business. We currently have 30 sites across seven countries (Australia, Canada, U.S., Ireland, Wales, Germany, and Spain) and over 4,300 employees that work to bring life-changing therapies to patients. Leading technology and continued investment enable us to address global drug development needs throughout the entire product life cycle – from manufacturing capabilities through the clinical trial supply chain and into commercialization. Our clients view us as an extension of their business and a collaborative partner with the shared goal of improving patients’ lives.
All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current knowledge, assumptions, judgment, and expectations regarding future performance or events. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such statements are reasonable, they give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct, and you should be aware that actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the forward- looking statements. Words such as “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “potential,” “possible,” “goals,” “accelerate,” “continue,” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the potential clinical and UK healthcare economic benefits of lenzilumab, statements pertaining to the sufficiency of results from ACTIV-5/BET-B to support further progress in respect of Humanigen’s pursuit of Conditional Marketing Authorization in the UK; statements regarding the SHIELD, aGvHD, and CMML studies, and other statements regarding the potential for lenzilumab to improve the safety and efficacy of CAR-T and our plans relating to lenzilumab.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the risks inherent in our lack of profitability and need for additional capital to grow our business; our dependence on partners to further the development of our product candidates; the uncertainties inherent in the development, attainment of the requisite regulatory authorizations and approvals and launch of any new pharmaceutical product; the outcome of pending or future litigation or arbitration involving the company; and the various risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” sections of our latest annual and quarterly reports and other filings with the SEC.
All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary notice. You should not rely upon any forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements made in this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, in each case, except as required by law.
- UK Health Security Agency. (2022, June 15). Healthcare in United Kingdom. GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare
- Kilcoyne, A. et al. (2022). Clinical and economic benefits of lenzilumab plus standard of care compared with standard of care alone for the treatment of hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) from the perspective of National Health Service England. ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research. https://doi.org/10.2147/CEOR.S360741
Humaneered® is a trademark of Humanigen, Inc.
Yescarta® and Tecartus® are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies.