Experimental cancer drug shows promise in fending off severe COVID-19

Feb. 9, 2021

Miami-based Veru Inc. reported this week that its experimental cancer drug has been shown to decrease the chance of death in high-risk COVID-19 patients.

For the mid-stage study, the company tested its oncology candidate, VERU-111, in 40 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who were at a high risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The randomized, double-blinded trial showed that patients who took VERU-111 were 81 percent less likely to die or suffer respiratory failure compared to patients on a placebo.

VERU-111, a novel drug being developed to treat breast and prostate cancer, targets subunits of microtubules, which can ultimately help block virus cells from circulating and lower inflammation. 

Veru said it is now in talks with the FDA and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) about designing and funding a late-stage trial of the treatment. 

Read the Bloomberg report.