In all cases, these are companies whose main activity is not related to Corona, but believe that they can convert existing drugs into this field. This approach has potential, as Corona drug does not have to act directly on the Covid-19 virus. Part of the mechanism by which the corona does damage is related to the immune system, which can act with excessive enthusiasm against the virus, and harm the body while eliminating the virus. Most of these companies estimate that they can work to improve control of the immune system to achieve a more balanced result – eliminating the virus with minimal damage.
“Globes” maps out who the Israeli companies that are fighting the plague are, and how they think they will benefit from it.
Kamhada recruited the first patient for the trial
An exception in the line of these companies is a company Kamhada , Which fights directly in corona using antibodies produced from the blood of corona recoverers. The company announced earlier this week the recruitment of the first patient for its trial, where the possibility of treatment would be examined. The product was tried a few months ago in an unsuccessful compassionate treatment, but only now is the company going out for an official trial.
The participants in the present study are in a milder condition than the patient treated as part of the compassionate treatment, all of whom are hospitalized with pneumonia but are not breathing. Kamhada intends to recruit 12 patients, in the first stage only the safety of the product and its patterns of spread in the patient’s body and its evacuation from the body will be examined. The company hopes to see signs of efficacy for the product as well – that is, a difference between the patients’ condition and the condition that was predicted for them without treatment – but this is not the official goal of the trial, nor does it have a control group so it can be compared to patients treated under the same conditions. Patient follow-up will last 84 days.
During the current quarter – that is, until the end of September – the company plans to hold a meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to plan a follow-up trial for the product, during 2021.
In parallel with the current experiment, Kamhada Conduct an experiment using antibodies as a preventative treatment for healthy volunteers who are at risk. It is estimated that the antibodies can serve as a kind of passive vaccine against the disease.
Kamhada’s antibody product for the treatment of corona, was developed as part of the international cooperation agreement signed last April between Kamhada and Kadrion Biopharma, which is also collaborating in the field of passive vaccine for rabies.
Since the beginning of the year, Kamhada’s share has risen by 26%, and the company is currently traded at a market value of NIS 1.3 billion. The increases were mainly against the background of the company’s plans in the corona field. Kamhada today released its reports for the second quarter of 2020, so it is not yet clear whether the corona has affected demand for its other products – a product for the treatment of hereditary emphysema and the rabies vaccine mentioned above.
Redhill is also planning an experiment in Israel
Company Redhill Is already conducting a preliminary trial (Phase IIa) in the US of the drug Corona, and has previously announced that it will also conduct the trial in Israel, Russia and the UK, and other countries from which it is awaiting approval. The company’s product is said to have antiviral properties. The activity of the virus in the body), and anti-inflammatory (i.e., ability to prevent excessive activity of the immune system) .It has been tested in the past for cancer treatment, but has not yet made significant progress in this indication, before most efforts around it were converted to corona. Hint that the product may have beneficial activity in the corona field.
The trial conducted by Redhill in the US is in 40 patients, and is not intended to show the product’s effectiveness statistically, but mainly to test safety and get hints of possible efficacy. Nevertheless, Redhill hopes that if the trial meets its goals successfully and in time, the company can get marketing approval In an emergency, which will allow it to start limited sales of the drug as early as the fourth quarter of this year. The international trial (Russia, Israel, Mexico and other countries) will involve 270 patients, and it is expected to be completed later. The product.
Redhill shares have risen by 53% since the beginning of the year, mainly due to the development to Corona, and the company is traded at a market value of NIS 1.1 billion. Redhill last March launched its flagship product for the treatment of the H. pylori bacterium, for the prevention of gastric ulcers and gastric cancer. Also in this case, it will be interesting to follow the launch, which occurred mainly at the height of the Corona period, when the company published its second quarter reports.
Floristem is expanding its experiment
Company Floristem Is in Phase II of the clinical trials in its product, designed to monitor the activity of the immune system, which is the main cause of injury to severe corona patients. The product has been tested in seven severe corona patients treated with compassion, and after the trial the company reported that four out of six patients who completed the treatment had improved. This is not an official trial, and it is difficult to know what would have happened to patients without the treatment, but the company noted that these are encouraging results.
The product is being tested in the US in 140 patients, and Floristem is currently expanding it to other countries. If Corona’s product reaches the market, it will be its first commercial product. Floristem’s share has risen 118% since the beginning of the year, and the company’s current market value is 808 The company received a grant of $ 54 million, and also raised capital based on its development plan in the Corona field and for its other plans.
Enlebex, Yes Fayette and Glamed joined the party
Company anleybx Announced this week the first injection of the drug as part of its trial in severe corona patients, whose immune systems are rampant. The Analabax product is designed to stop the “cytokine storm” that occurs when the immune system responds with great intensity, and may even kill the patient.
Enlebex is one of the only companies developing a drug for Corona whose share has fallen since the beginning of the year, by about 40%, partly due to the capital raising it made shortly after announcing its intention to enter the field. The company is currently traded at a market value of about NIS 245 million.
Company Yes Fayette Plans to soon enter a Phase II trial (efficacy trial) in its anti-inflammatory product. The share of this company has also lost 35% of its value since the beginning of the year. It is currently traded at a market value of NIS 117 million.
The newest to join the list is Lonely This year, the company announced that in the fourth quarter of this year it will begin clinical trials on a product it acquired a year ago, developed by Prof. David Naor of the Lautenberg Institute at the Hebrew University. And was previously presented as a “product for four diseases.” , Such as Crohn’s and arthritis, as well as diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
Like the products of Analybax and Floristem, Glamed targets the product at the most difficult patients, whose immune systems are rampant. Glamed states that the product knows how to prevent damage to the immune system without compromising its effectiveness against the virus. Glamed will ask the FDA for approval to test the product in Corona as early as this year, and in inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and colitis in 2021. The Gilmed share has fallen by 34% since the beginning of the year, and is now trading at a market value of NIS 320 million.
Ofco and Batem produce tests and vaccines
Apart from the companies operating in the field of pharmaceuticals, there are two companies on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that manufacture and market tests for Corona – Horizon andBatm . Ofco operates in the United States, and Batam mainly in Europe. Both were significantly successful following the start of the testing of the tests, while in Batam these increases continued a positive trend, and in Ofko broke a negative trend.
Ofco has already released its second quarter results for the year, and it can be seen that entering the corona testing field was worth for it a 40% growth in sales compared to the same quarter in 2019, to about $ 250 million. Batam has not yet released its quarterly results.
Sight from Clal Biotechnology’s portfolio (handwriting) does not develop corona tests, but it does develop fast and safe blood count tests that have benefits as part of the ongoing treatment process for Corona patients. Among other things, Sight raised $ 71 million in July.
Katav also benefited from the merger signed earlier this year between Neon, a cancer treatment company from Katav’s portfolio, and Biontech, which together with Pfizer is developing one of the leading vaccines for Corona. The deal was based on an exchange of shares between Neon and Biontech, and even when Biontech shares began to rise, conditions did not change. Katab sold millions of dollars of Biontech shares thanks to the move.
Novolog provides services to Corona patients
Another beneficiary of the Corona is company Novolog , Which deals with the transportation of medicines and the provision of remote hospitalization services, which have become more relevant both for the treatment of corona patients themselves and to remove as many of the vulnerable and elderly patients from the hospitals as possible. The Novolog share has risen by 78% since the beginning of the year, and is traded at a market value of NIS 1.4 billion.
None of the companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange competes in the most prestigious race to find a vaccine against the SARS-CoV2 virus that causes corona. There are two non-traded Israeli entities in this field: Mivax, which develops the vaccine of the Israeli Miguel Institute, and the Biological Institute in Ness Ziona .
In both cases these are products at a relatively early stage, but in the development of vaccines it is not necessarily clear that the first to advance in trials is also that its product will be found to be safe and effective and approved for marketing. Even after approval of one product, a better or cheaper alternative can join. Therefore, Miguel and the Biological Institute still have a chance to participate in the game.