Business A treatment tested in Marseille to fight against the...

A treatment tested in Marseille to fight against the “cytokine storm”, which causes complications in patients

Eric Vivier, Scientific Director of Innate Pharma. – JM Huron

  • A study is launched in Marseille to test the effectiveness of Avdoralimab, a molecule developed by Innate Pharma.
  • Avdoralimab is said to block a molecule that activates and recruits too many immune cells, responsible for the “cytokine storm” that can cause acute respiratory complications and death in patients with Covid-19.
  • The Public Assistance-Paris Hospitals (AP-HP) published this Monday the preliminary results of a promising clinical trial on the efficacy and safety of tocilizumab to avoid the “cytokine storm” in serious patients

The cytokine storm at the heart of the battle against
Covid-19. A new trial is launched at
Marseille to test the effectiveness of Avdoralimab, a molecule developed by Innate Pharma. It may be effective in fighting the oversized immune response in some
Covid-19 patients, often the cause of acute respiratory complications, and death.

What is Avdoralimab?

Avdoralimab is a molecule developed by the Innate Pharma laboratory in a phase I trial for lung and liver cancers. This molecule has the particularity of blocking the C5A receptors.

Why use it in Covid-19 patients?

Eric Vivier, Scientific Director of Innate Pharma and professor at hospitals and faculty in Marseille, wanted to launch a study to determine if Avdoralimab could be repositioned for the fight against Covid-19. “We have launched an observational study in partnership with the AP-HM, the Marseille Center for Immunology and Innate Pharma. We analyzed what is happening in the blood and lungs of patients by looking at 40 parameters. And we noticed that a lot was moving, especially on certain molecules and particularly the C5A molecule, “explains Eric Vivier.

Avdoralimab, developed by Innate Pharma, has this ability to block the C5A molecule. “This molecule would have two functions, on the one hand it would activate these anti-inflammatory cells, and on the other hand it would cause them to flow into inflammation so we think it is a key molecule”, explains Eric Vivier. Particularly in the appearance of a “cytokine storm”, responsible for an excessive immune response of the body, which can result in acute respiratory distress and death.

What is the difference with the AP-HP test?

Paris hospitals on Monday presented the results of a randomized trial of the efficacy of tocilizumab, which also blocks a receptor that causes “cytokine storms”. “This is a process parallel to ours, which could also prove to be complementary, except that we are not targeting the same molecule,” warns Eric Vivier. If the results have already been made public for the AP-HP study, this is not yet the case for that of Eric Vivier and his teams, which is just starting.

What is the deadline for the first results?

The study on the efficacy of Avdoralimab has only just started. It will cover 108 patients aged 18 to 80 years and will be randomized. That is, one patient group will receive Avdoralimab while another group will receive a placebo in order to compare the effectiveness or not of the molecule. “The most complicated will be to recruit a sufficient number of patients,” warns Eric Vivier. The first results are not expected for several weeks or even a few months.


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