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Nano-Cap Cyclacel Rockets Higher On Launch Of Study For Coronavirus Inflammation

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Nano-Cap Cyclacel Rockets Higher On Launch Of Study For Coronavirus Inflammation

Shares of nanocap biopharma Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CYCC) were ripping higher Monday following the announcement of a partnership to study two of its drugs to treat complications arising from COVID-19.

The company said it has entered into an agreement with the University of Edinburgh to study two of its pipeline assets — fadraciclib and seliciclib — as potential early treatments for the inflammatory response observed in patients with COVID-19 disease.

Fadraciclib and seliciclib are both investigational CDK2/9 inhibitors in development.

Cyclacel is studying the drugs for their suitability for use in safety and efficacy studies in COVID-19 patients. The evaluation is part of a project that studies the inflammatory pathways that lead directly to COVID-19 lung injury, leveraging the expertise of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Inflammation Research, according to the company. 

Cyclacel said the STOPCOVID project is supported by 2 million pounds ($2.5 million) in funding from LifeArc. The university is seeking further funding, the company said. 

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"We are excited to be contributing fadraciclib and seliciclib to the global effort to combat COVID-19," Cyclacel CEO Spiro Rombotis said in a statement. 

STOPCOVID project lead Kev Dhaliwal said the university will evaluate the potential role of Cyclacel's CDK inhibitors in preventing inflammation in coronavirus patients. 

"Clinical data from international studies suggest that an early peripheral blood neutrophil response is associated with a poor outcome in COVID-19. If we can stop the inflammatory cascade early, we may be able to prevent or delay the severity of COVID-19 induced inflammation and the need for assisted ventilation in affected patients."

The stock was trading 88.41% higher at $11.81 at the time of publication Monday.

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