At last check Corvus shares were up more than 90% at $5.25.
Corvus said administration of an antibody designated as CPI-006, which has been used to treat cancer patients, led to increased levels of memory B cells, the cells responsible for long-term immunity.
Similar production of antibodies and memory cells to pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes covid-19, the company said, "may provide immediate and long-term clinical benefits for patients including shortened recovery time and improved long-term protective immunity."
In both in vitro and in vivo studies in cancer patients, CPI-006 has demonstrated binding to various immune cells and the inducement of a humoral adaptive immune response – B cell activation and lymphocyte trafficking leading to the production of antigen-specific immunoglobulin (IgM and IgG) antibodies.
Corvus said the study is designed to show that CPI-006 has the potential to induce patients to produce enhanced antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2.
The expected benefit for patients is the potential eradication of the virus, the company said, leading to less severe disease, prevention of complications, and faster recovery – and the potential for long-term immunity.
The Phase I study is expected to enroll up to 30 covid-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
"We believe that COVID-19 patients treated with CPI-006 may benefit from an improved time to recovery and building longer term immunity," Richard Miller, president and chief executive, said in a statement.
"This program will also help inform the potential to apply this approach in treatment of other infectious diseases, including variants of coronaviruses and as adjuvants in subjects who may respond poorly to preventative vaccination."