Biotech Bay Companies Fighting Against COVID-19

CV_Biotech Bay

The rush to develop treatments and vaccines for the novel coronavirus is on.

The breakneck pace of research and development can be hard to keep up with. To keep tabs on the research hustle, BioSpace looked at what each Hotbed was up to.

Biotech Bay, the bustling biotech industry around San Francisco in California, is home to many biopharma companies developing diagnostics, therapies, and vaccines to fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it, called SARS-CoV-2.

Check out the table below to find out how the companies in Biotech Bay are joining the fight against COVID-19 and what they are developing.

The information below was up to date as of May 18, 2020.

 

Biotech Bay’s Fight Against COVID-19

AbbVie

Drug/Vaccine Type: Protease inhibitor

Drug (Name Brand): Lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra, Aluvia)

FDA Approved? (Indication): Yes (HIV)

Mechanism of Action: Prevents the protease enzyme from working (protease forms the structural proteins and enzymes that new copies of HIV need to replicate) – causes formation of defective viruses that cannot infect new cells

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships:

Clinical Trial Results: ChiCTR2000029308 (Wuhan, China) – NEJM (3-18-20) – open-label RCT (199 patients) – No benefit observed compared to standard of care (no sig. dif. in mortality, detectable viral load, or hospital stay length)

Company Press Releases:

 

ABBVIE

Drug/Vaccine Type: Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor

Drug (Name Brand): Imbruvica (ibrutinib)

FDA Approved? (Indication): Yes (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (CLL/SLL), Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL), Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM), marginal zone lymphoma  (MZL), chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD))

Mechanism of Action: Small molecule that inhibits BTK, an enzyme important in B-cell development

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships: Phase 2 study to “determine whether IMBRUVICA is able to improve patient outcomes by diminishing the immune response known as the cytokine storm that contributes to the morbidity and mortality in COVID-19”

Company Press Releases: AbbVie’s update on COVID-19

 

Amgen

Drug/Vaccine Type: Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor

Drug (Name Brand): Apremilast (Otezla)

FDA Approved? (Indication): Yes (plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, oral ulcers caused by Behçet’s Disease)

Mechanism of Action:

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships:

Clinical Trial Results: deCODE Study of SARS-CoV-2 Genetics & Prevalence in Iceland (Reykjavik, Iceland) – NEJM (4-14-20) – 9,199 high risk individuals: 13.3% tested positive, women (11% positive) & children under 10 (6.7% positive) were less likely to test positive than men (16.7% positive) – 0.8% of 10,797 volunteers & 0.6% of 2,283 people tested positive – 43 of the 100 positive tests were from asymptomatic people at the time of testing

Company Press Releases:

 

Boehringer Ingelheim Fremont (all press releases are from Boehringer Ingelheim, not specifically the Fremont, CA location)

Drug/Vaccine Type: (No specific drug indicated)

Drug (Name Brand):

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships:

Company Press Releases:

 

Bristol Myers Squibb

Drug/Vaccine Type: (No specific drug indicated)

Drug (Name Brand):

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships:

  • Joined the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome & Mastercard)
  • Joined the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV), a “public-private partnership formed by the NIH and the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH)”
  • “In some instances, we are continuing clinical studies as planned, while in others we are temporarily suspending or postponing trials as appropriate. For trials which were suspended or postponed, plans are underway to get them back up and running when circumstances on the ground permit.” -Company press release

Company Press Releases:

 

Dynavax

Drug/Vaccine Type: Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist adjuvant

Drug (Name Brand): CpG 1018

FDA Approved? (Indication): Yes (adjuvant in HEPLISAV-B, the FDA-approved Hepatitis B Vaccine)

Mechanism of Action: Mimics bacterial/viral genetic material to increase immune response – it is a synthetic form of DNA (made of cytosine phosphoguanine (CpG) motifs)

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships:

Dynavax provided CpG1018 to:

Company Press Releases:

 

Emergent BioSolutions

Drug/Vaccine Type: Convalescent plasma COVID-19 vaccine production

Drug (Name Brand):

FDA Approved? (Indication): No

Mechanism of Action: Learn more about hyperimmune globulin with their fact sheet

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships:

Company Press Releases: The fight against COVID-19

 

Gilead Sciences

Drug/Vaccine Type: Nucleotide analogue

Drug (Name Brand): Remdesivir (previously GS-5734)

FDA Approved? (Indication): Nogranted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 by the FDA

Mechanism of Action: Inhibits SARS-CoV-2’s replication machinery (viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) – Journal of Biological Chemistry paper

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships:

Clinical Trial Results:

Company Press Releases:

 

Gladstone Institutes

Drug/Vaccine Type: (No specific drug indicated)

Drug (Name Brand):

FDA Approved? (Indication):

Mechanism of Action:

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships:

Company Press Releases: Gladstone Institutes Response to COVID-19

 

Grifols

Drug/Vaccine Type: Convalescent plasma

Drug (Name Brand): Anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin

FDA Approved? (Indication): No (not anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin specifically) – the convalescent plasma is collected at FDA-approved plasma donor centers

Mechanism of Action: SARS-CoV-2 antibodies can be isolated from the blood of people who’ve recovered from COVID-19, then the antibodies can be given to people currently sick with COVID-19 – See Grifols’ video about how to get hyperimmune globulin from convalescent plasma

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships:

Company Press Releases:

 

Miltenyi Biotec

Drug/Vaccine Type: SARS-CoV-2 peptide pools (“short 15-mer peptides with 11-amino-acid overlaps, covering the complete amino acid sequence of a particular virus-, tumor-, or auto-antigen”)

Drug (Name Brand):

  • PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_S
  • PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_N
  • PepTivator SARS-CoV-2 Prot_M

FDA Approved? (Indication): No

Mechanism of Action: These peptide pools “cover the sequence of major SARS‑CoV‑2 proteins and can be used to stimulate SARS‑CoV‑2–specific T cells. These T cells can then be detected and/or isolated for further research. We provide three different peptide pools, each covering the sequence of one SARS‑CoV‑2 protein.”

Company Press Releases:

 

Rigel Pharmaceuticals

Drug/Vaccine Type: Spleen tyrosine kinase inhibitor

Drug (Name Brand): TAVALISSE® (fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate)

FDA Approved? (Indication): Yes (chronic immune thrombocytopenia)

Mechanism of Action:

Clinical Trials, Testing & Partnerships: “Rigel is exploring opportunities to collaborate with research institutes to investigate the potential of TAVALISSE to treat COVID-19 pneumonia and related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).”

Company Press Releases: Rigel Reports First Quarter 2020 Financial Results and Provides Business Update

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