NEW YORK – Oncimmune Holdings on Tuesday announced a contract with Roche Pharmaceuticals to utilize its infectious disease panel in a COVID-19 pneumonia drug trial.
The trial, called COVACTA, will evaluate the drug Actemra (tocilizumab) in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Under the new contract, Roche will use the Oncimmune SeroTag panel on all patient samples to look for immune signals of response, non-response, and adverse events, with the option to extend to IgA and IgM antibody profiling, according to a statement.
Phase 3 results for the COVACTA trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February showed tocilizumab did not lead to improved clinical status or lower mortality in patients with severe COVID-19. The study noted however that effective treatments and meaningful outcomes for clinical trials are likely to differ for different stages of disease and that future trials should be more narrowly focused.
Oncimmune also said on Tuesday that it will expand a previous contract and provide its panel to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for antibody profiling in COVID-19 samples as biomarkers of disease.
The SeroTag panel is tailored to predict COVID-19 disease severity and therapeutic response as well as effectiveness of vaccines and other therapeutics. It is the primary discovery engine for Oncimmune's NavigAID disease-specific stratification panels, the firm said.