[U — Friday Stock Pop 150%!] In 2016, Dr. Cameron Durrant [As The Polar Opposite Of Mr. Shkreli] Took Over At KaloBios — Now Called Humanigen…

. . .And Dr. Durrant may well (if rather suddenly) have on his deft hands. . . a viable COVID-19 “radical intervention” treatment candidate — for the wracking lung destruction the most severe form of the viral infection occasionally inflicts.

UPDATE — Humanigen stock is now up over 155%, on Friday morning — on the OTC / NASDAQ board, on about 30 times normal volume. Delicious. End update.

[What a sweet irony it would work, should all of this play out in the favor of those investors burned by Martin, since long ago he was required to divest all his holdings in what became Humanigen. But back to the story, proper, then:]

One of the programs Dr. Durrant has pursued since the company was freed of Martin via a bankruptcy reorganization, involved. . . Lenzilumab.

Here is a bit from the top of page 78 of the just filed Humanigen SEC Form 10-K, related to the at least animal model studies of Lenzilumab:

. . . .Recent data from China and the subject of a pre-publication titled “Aberrant pathogenic GM-CSF+ T cells and inflammatory CD14+CD16+ monocytes in severe pulmonary syndrome patients of a new coronavirus”, supports the hypothesis that cytokine storm-induced immune mechanisms have contributed to patient mortality with the current pandemic strain of coronavirus.

The severe clinical features associated with some COVID-19 infections result from an inflammation-induced lung injury requiring Intensive Care Unit (ICU) care and mechanical ventilation. This lung injury is a result of a cytokine storm resulting from a hyper-reactive immune response. The lung injury that leads to death is not directly related to the virus, but appears to be a result of a hyper-reactive immune response to the virus triggering a cytokine storm that can continue even after viral titers begin to fall.

The authors of the study assessed samples from patients with severe pneumonia resulting from COVID-19 infection to identify whether inflammatory factors such as GM-CSF, G-CSF, IL-6, MCP-1, MIP 1 alpha, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha were implicated.

The authors noted that steroid treatment in such cases has been disappointing in terms of outcome, but suggested that a monoclonal antibody that targets GM-CSF may prevent or curb the hyper-active immune response caused by COVID-19 in this setting. Humanigen believes that the authors’ findings are worthy of further investigation, suggesting that to reduce or eradicate ICU care and prevent deaths from COVID-19 infection, an intervention may be needed to prevent cytokine storm.

Separate publications confirm that cytokine storm is characterized by surge of high levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines, and is an overreaction of the immune system under the conditions, such as CAR-T therapy and patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. These recent studies revealed that high levels of GM-CSF, along with a few other cytokines, are critically associated with severe clinical complications in COVID-19 patients. High concentration of GM-CSF was found in the plasma of severe and critically ill patients, which account for approximately 20% of all patients, especially in those requiring intensive care.

Lenzilumab has been shown to prevent cytokine storm in animal models and this work has been published in peer reviewed journals. Patients are expected to be enrolled soon in a clinical study to determine lenzilumab’s effect on cytokine storm associated with the hyper-active immune response associated with CAR-T therapy, in collaboration with Kite Pharma. . .

Clearly, these are only early green shoots — but promising, just the same.

And no matter how the Lenz- program turns out, I am abidingly convinced Martin didn’t really spend his talent very wisely, or well — in the first half of his life.

Even so, I’ll remain hopeful that was “the life he learned with“. . . and, now [starting in 2024] — perhaps he may yet do something wonderful with the “life after” — his now hard-learned BoP lessons. . . . just maybe.

Onward — smiling. Ever. . . smiling.


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