PharmaMar Shares Soar After Drug Study Suggests Efficacy Against Omicron

By Reuters Staff

January 12, 2022

MADRID (Reuters) - Shares in PharmaMar jumped almost 20% on Tuesday after the Spanish drugmaker said lab trials suggested its Plitidepsin drug was effective against the main COVID-19 variants, including the highly contagious Omicron.

Results from in-vitro tests published in the Life Science Alliance journal showed that Plitidepsin, also known as Aplidin, had a potent antiviral effect against all variants and decreased the viral load detected in animal lung tissue by 99%, the company said.

The same paper also included previously published positive effects in Phase I and II clinical trials carried out on patients who were hospitalised with COVID-19.

The drug, originally developed as a cancer treatment, is now undergoing Phase III trials as a COVID-19 therapy.

Plitidepsin was identified early in the pandemic, through a protein interaction study published in Nature in April 2020, as one of several existing compounds with potential antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2.

"All data we have seen so far with Plitidepsin corroborate our initial hypothesis about its antiviral activity," PharmaMar Chairman Jose Maria Fernandez Sousa said in a statement.

Shares in the company rose 19% in early afternoon trade, on track for their best day in nearly a year. The shares had gained about 20% in January last year, also following encouraging news on Plitidepsin.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3qfcqav Life Science Alliance, online January 10, 2022.

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