Eiger BioPharmaceuticals COVID-19 Study Fails to Live Up to Expectations

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: EIGR) has announced disappointing results from an investigator-sponsored study of Peginterferon Lambda-1a (Lambda) in outpatients with mild and uncomplicated COVID-19.

The primary endpoint in this study was duration of viral shedding, determined by time to first of two consecutive negative tests for SARS-CoV-2. The secondary endpoint was reducing duration of symptoms and hospitalization in patients with mild COVID-19. A total of 120 patients were evenly randomized between Lambda and the placebo, and they were followed for 28 days.

Ultimately, no difference was demonstrated in the duration of SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding and time to symptom resolution versus the placebo. The median time to cessation of viral shedding in both groups was seven days.

Note that Lambda was well-tolerated with few adverse events, which included elevated transaminases that self-resolved.

Management indicated that it now knows that untreated patients with mild COVID-19 clear virus quickly. Published reports have demonstrated evidence of a therapeutic benefit of interferons in hospitalized patients with more advanced COVID-19 disease.

The firm is look forwarding to the results of the four ongoing peginterferon lambda investigator-sponsored studies in hospitalized patients with more advanced COVID-19, as well as the prophylaxis study of exposed or at-risk patients.

Separately, Lambda is in late-stage development for the treatment of hepatitis delta virus (HDV), the most severe form of human viral hepatitis, and HDV is its lead clinical program. It previously had positive Phase 2 results, and management is looking forward to initiating a Phase 3 trial for HDV.

BioPharmaceuticals stock traded down 14% to $8.50 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $4.55 to $15.82. The consensus price target is $34.17.

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