About Coronavirus Disease 2019

SARS-CoV-2 was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. The origin of SARS-CoV-2 causing the COVID-19 disease is uncertain, and the virus is highly contagious. COVID-19 typically transmits person to person through respiratory droplets, commonly resulting from coughing, sneezing, and close personal contact. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals. For confirmed COVID-19 infections, symptoms have included fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Clinical manifestations in patients have ranged from non-existent to severe and fatal. At this time, there are minimal treatment options for COVID-19.

Leronlimab in COVID-19

The “cytokine storm” is believed to play an integral role in the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in those affected by COVID-19. Chemokines and chemokine receptors play a critical role in the recruitment, activation, and coordination of leukocytes in the pathophysiology of lung inflammation. The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) of COVID-19 results from the accumulation of neutrophils within the pulmonary circulation and alveolar spaces. Leronlimab (PRO 140) inhibits the migration of Tregs into areas of inflammation, which can inhibit the innate immune response against pathogens and, most importantly, the migration of macrophages and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in lungs. Leronlimab can potentially mitigate the cytokine storm.

Potential Benefits of Leronlimab in COVID-19

Recent laboratory data for patients treated with leronlimab for COVID-19 infection has shown increases in the profoundly decreased CD8 T-lymphocyte percentages by Day 3, normalization of CD4/CD8 ratios, and resolving cytokine production including reduced IL-6 correlating with patient improvement. The current data suggests a trend toward the restoration of immune function by day 7. Restoration of the immune function is critical in COVID-19 patients to prevent opportunistic infections.

Future Research for Leronlimab in Immune Dysfunction

The mechanism of action of leronlimab in quieting the cytokine storm and restoration of immune function is an important mechanism that has applicability across multiple disease processes. CytoDyn will be exploring these opportunities to help patients and expand the pipeline of opportunities for leronlimab.

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