Catalan company Grifols, a global leader in the development of therapies with plasma-derived proteins, announced that its anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin, a potential treatment for COVID-19, has started a randomized controlled clinical trial to test its safety, efficacy and tolerability.
This medicine provides a high and consistent concentration of purified neutralizing antibodies and could be used for both prevention and treatment of the disease. The study is sponsored and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The start of the clinical trial is the latest phase of an initiative that goes back to March when Grifols started work on its anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin as part of a collaboration with U.S. government agencies such as the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the NIAID and the NIH.
In addition to Grifols, the other manufacturers providing product for the trial are Emergent BioSolutions, CSL Behring and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
Investigators running the clinical trial want to determine if giving the anti-coronavirus hyperimmune globulin when COVID-19 symptoms first appear, before a person’s immune system makes a protective immune response on its own, could augment the natural antibody response to SARS-CoV-2, thereby reducing the risk of more serious illness and death.
This is the first international multicenter clinical trial of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin, which is randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled and adaptive. Patients will receive either the anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin and remdesivir, or remdesivir plus placebo.
The Phase 3 trial, called Inpatient Treatment with Anti-Coronavirus Immunoglobulin (ITAC), will include 500 hospitalized adults with COVID-19 in up to 58 hospitals covering 18 countries including the United States and Spain. For the trial Grifols has collected convalescent plasma from healthy recovered COVID-19 donors, in the U.S. using its plasma-center network and in Spain through a collaboration with blood banks.