The update followed positive data from a study assessing the use of Tiziana’s nasally administered monoclonal antibody, foralumab, in patients with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Analyst Raghuram Selvaraju hailed the “positive” results from the small-scale assessment carried out in Brazil as he reiterated his ‘buy’ recommendation and US$11 a share price target.
“The data from the Brazilian trial appear to indicate intriguing evidence of therapeutic utility for nasally administered foralumab, while also suggesting that foralumab alone (without priming using oral dexamethasone) may be the most effective approach,” he added.
“We await data from larger studies to conclusively demonstrate the nature and magnitude of patient benefit.”
The results of the Brazil study are carried below:
The fully human anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (mAB) proved to be safe in the group of 39 patients that were assessed by a team that included researchers from the prestigious Harvard Medical School.
In a statement, lead scientist Dr Thais Moreira said: “We are delighted to see that patients treated with nasally administered Foralumab showed a positive trend in the reduction of lung inflammation, and supportive data indicating significant reduction in cytokine IL-6 and C-reactive protein.
“In addition, there are indications from patients who reported that treatment with Foralumab rapidly improved the smell and taste sensations that are frequently lost with the severity of COVID-19 disease”.
Nasally-administered Foralumab is thought to work by improving the immune system by stimulating the body’s regulatory T cells.
It is also believed to dampen cytotoxic (harmful) T cell responses in the nasal and respiratory tract, the primary sites of the COVID-19 virus.
As such, Tiziana’s scientists think Foralumab may be effective in treating new coronavirus variants from the UK, Brazil and South Africa because it does not attack the disease directly but modulates its effects on the immune system.
The drug is the first monoclonal antibody that can be dosed nasally or orally due to its ability to affect systemic immunity via the epithelial lining of the nose, respiratory tract and gut.
HC Wainwright’s analysis followed on from notes published Tuesday from US investment bank B Riley, which reiterated its ‘buy’ advice and US$8 a share price target for Tiziana, and Zak’s Small-Cap Research, which initiated coverage.