Enlivex Pharmaceutical Shares Surge After Positive COVID-19 Treatment Data

Israel-based Enlivex plans to launch phase 2 trials of its coronavirus antibody treatment following positive results from a small sample study of severely ill patients in Jerusalem.

Enlivex Therapeutics Ltd  (ENLV) - Get Enlivex Therapeutics Ltd. Report shares surged higher Thursday after the drugmaker published positive results from a clinical trial of its developing coronavirus treatment.

Enlivex said the trial of five patients -- which included three suffering serve forms of COVID-19 symptoms -- recovered completely and were released from hospital after an average stay of just five and a half days. Patients with criital forms of the disease were released after an average of 8.5 days in hospital, the company said. 

The trial, which was conducted with Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, dosed patients were dosed with Allocetra, a plasma-based antibody treatment the company says could potentially cover the gap that currently exists in treating severe or critical COVID-19 patients.  

“We are pleased with the results of this COVID-19 clinical trial," said CEO Oren Hershkovitz. "Enlivex will continue to work towards efforts aimed at combating the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to execute our sepsis clinical development program."

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"The cumulative clinical data to date from the clinical trials in sepsis and COVID-19 are in line with our expectations,” he added.

Enlivex shares surged more than 687% in early trading on the Nasdaq following publication of the trial results, to change hands at  $10.80 each.

The World Health Organization says that around 150 potential vaccines are currently under some form of study, with 34 active human trials taking place from Russian to Bahrain.

Several U.S. firms are also in the hunt, including Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report, Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Novavax, Inc. Report, Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Report and Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report, which said last month that it's eyeing regulatory approval for it mRNA-based vaccine as early as October.

AstraZeneca's  (AZN) - Get Astrazeneca PLC Sponsored ADR Report pause of its late-stage study with Oxford University, however, has ignited the race for a workable vaccine heading into the nearly 34 million people and claimed more than one million lives.