Equillium (EQ) Stalls Initiation of Phase III Study on COVID-19

Shares of

Equillium Inc.


fell 3.54% after it announced its decision to not initiate a phase III study on its pipeline candidate, itolizumab, for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients at this time. The company’s decision was based on a review of recent updates regarding the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine candidates and other treatment options.

Shares of the company have increased 45.2% year to date against the


’s decline of 0.6%.

The company is continuing to assess the rapidly evolving clinical and commercial landscape related to the pandemic and may consider other options to evaluate itolizumab in COVID-19 patients, including government research initiatives.

The company will evaluate, develop and prioritize its resources for the expansion and acceleration of itolizumabfor the treatment of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) based on positive interim data on the same. The company also plans to advance the candidate for the treatment of lupus / lupus nephritis and uncontrolled asthma studies.

We note that this month, the  FDA gave Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to




antibody cocktail, casirivimab and imdevimab administered together (formerly known as REGN-COV2 or REGEN-COV2), a therapy currently being investigated for use in COVID-19. The FDA grants EUA to medicines that may help diagnose, treat or prevent a life-threatening disease when adequate and approved alternatives are not available.

Pharma giant

Eli Lilly


is also making painstaking efforts to develop several potential neutralizing antibodies for the treatment of COVID-19. In November 2020, Lilly’s antibody  therapy – bamlanivimab was granted an emergency use authorization by the FDA for treating COVID-19, widening the access to a treatment that early data suggest is effective in keeping people infected with coronavirus out of the hospital. Meanwhile, in October,

Vir Biotechnology, Inc.


and GlaxoSmithKline plc. announced the global expansion to phase III of the COMET-ICE study evaluating investigational monoclonal antibody, VIR-7831, for the early treatment of COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of hospitalization.

Zacks Rank

Equillium currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see

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