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Humanigen Announces Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. government to Develop Lenzilumab for COVID-19

Nov 06, 2020
  • The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Department of Defense (DoD) supports the development of lenzilumab as a potential treatment for patients with Covid-19

  • Humanigen’s development efforts complemented by full-scale, integrated team of federal leading experts dedicated to advancing lenzilumab ahead of a potential Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) submission

Burlingame, CA – November 6, 2020 – Humanigen, Inc., (HGEN) (“Humanigen”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on preventing and treating an immune hyper-response called a cytokine storm with its lead drug candidate lenzilumab™, today announced that the company and the Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) in collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to help meet the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed goals. The agreement supports development of lenzilumab in advance of a potential Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19.

The CRADA complements Humanigen’s development efforts, providing access to a full-scale, integrated team of manufacturing and regulatory subject matter experts and statistical support in anticipation of applying for EUA and subsequently a Biologics License Application (BLA) for lenzilumab as a potential treatment for COVID-19. The CRADA also provides that federal experts will work hand-in-hand with the company on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) communications, meetings and regulatory filings. The CRADA aims to support the ongoing lenzilumab Phase 3 clinical trials, focusing on efficiently generating EUA and BLA submissions. In addition to providing access under EUA, the CRADA allows for lenzliumab to possibly receive the benefits provided by Public Law 115-92.

Humanigen's investigational treatment lenzilumab, a proprietary Humaneered®anti-human granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) monoclonal antibody, is designed to prevent and treat an immune hyper-response called a cytokine storm, a complication considered to be a leading cause of COVID-19 death. Data showed that up to 89 percent of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are at risk of this immune hyper-response, which is believed to trigger the acute respiratory distress syndrome in severe cases of COVID-19.

Cameron Durrant, MD, MBA, chief executive officer of Humanigen said, “We are honored to be part of Operation Warp Speed, receive this CRADA, and collaborate with JPEO-CBRND to advance lenzilumab as a potential response treatment and seek a potential EUA. We have been working tirelessly to advance lenzilumab for COVID-19 and are excited to have the integrated expert team at OWS prioritize lenzilumab research and development during this critical time.”

Lenzilumab was also selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to be evaluated among the promising COVID-19 agents for its ACTIV-5 “Big Effect Trial” (ACTIV-5/BET) which will enroll patients at up to 40 sites in the U.S.

More details on Humanigen’s programs in COVID-19 can be found on the company’s website at under the COVID-19 tab. Details on the U.S. Phase 3 lenzilumab clinical trialcan be found at using Identifier NCT04351152. Details on ACTIV-5/BET can be found using Identifier NCT04583969.

About Humanigen, Inc.

Humanigen, Inc. is developing its portfolio of clinical and pre-clinical therapies for the treatment of cancers and infectious diseases via its novel, cutting-edge GM-CSF neutralization and gene-knockout platforms. We believe that our GM-CSF neutralization and gene-editing platform technologies have the potential to reduce the inflammatory cascade associated with coronavirus infection. The company’s immediate focus is to prevent or minimize the cytokine release syndrome that precedes severe lung dysfunction and ARDS in serious cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The company is also focused on creating next-generation combinatory gene-edited CAR-T therapies using strategies to improve efficacy while employing GM-CSF gene knockout technologies to control toxicity. In addition, the company is developing its own portfolio of proprietary first-in-class EphA3-CAR-T for various solid cancers and EMR1-CAR-T for various eosinophilic disorders. The company is also exploring the effectiveness of its GM-CSF neutralization technologies (either through the use of lenzilumab as a neutralizing antibody or through GM-CSF gene knockout) in combination with other CAR-T, bispecific or natural killer (NK) T cell engaging immunotherapy treatments to break the efficacy/toxicity linkage, including to prevent and/or treat graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Additionally, Humanigen and Kite, a Gilead Company, are evaluating lenzilumab in combination with Yescarta®(axicabtagene ciloleucel) in patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma in a clinical collaboration. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management's current knowledge, assumptions, judgment and expectations regarding future performance or events. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such statements are reasonable, they give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct and you should be aware that actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Words such as "will," "expect," "intend," "plan," "potential," "possible," "goals," "accelerate," "continue," and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our expectations for the Phase 3 study and the potential future development of lenzilumab to minimize or reduce the severity of lung dysfunction associated with severe and critical COVID-19 infections or to receive an Emergency Use Authorization from, be approved by, FDA for such use or to help CAR-T reach its full potential or to deliver benefit in preventing GvHD. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the risks inherent in our lack of profitability and need for additional capital to conduct the Phase 3 study and grow our business; our dependence on partners to further the development of our product candidates; the uncertainties inherent in the development and launch of any new pharmaceutical product; the outcome of pending or future litigation; and the various risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" sections and elsewhere in the Company's periodic and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary notice. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements made in this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.



Sean Leous

Westwicke, an ICR company


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