Amgen teams up with competitors in COVID treatment trial
Amgen has joined two of its competitors in launching a trial for drugs to treat patients with COVID-19.
Together with Chicago-based AbbVie and Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical, the Thousand Oaks biotech giant said Aug. 3 it had enrolled the first patients into a clinical trial for the anti-inflammatory drugs Otezla, cenicriviroc and Firazyr. Otezla is an Amgen drug while Takeda produces Firazyr and cenicriviroc is an AbbVie product.
“Together, experts across our companies and industry can accelerate trials with promising, well-understood therapies that upon investigation, may show efficacy in this devastating disease,” Takeda President of R&D Andy Plump said in joint news release.
After the announcement on Aug. 3, Amgen and AbbVie shares rose 1.1 percent to $247 and $96 per share, respectively, while Takeda increased 1.8 percent to $18.52 per share.
The combination of drugs aims to treat severely ill patients who require oxygen. The study will determine the efficacy of Otezla and cenicriviroc in suppressing inflammation in COVID-19 patients who experience acute respiratory distress, and Firazyr in treating excess fluid in the lungs.
The joint effort includes members of the COVID R&D Alliance and is sponsored by the nonprofit Quantum Leap Healthcare Collaborative.
Mark McClellan, director of the Center for Health Policy at Duke University, praised the trial model for its cost effectiveness and speed.
“Collaborative research efforts leveraging adaptive platform trials enable faster and more complete learning about what works for patients, and they are especially critical for addressing urgent public health threats like COVID-19,” McClellan said in the news release. “Platform trials bring down the cost and increase the ease of executing well-powered, high quality studies, especially when multiple, potential therapies need to be evaluated quickly.”