Have you seen the hot start that penny stocks, and well, blue-chip stocks too, have been on to begin July? There are several huge factors that are helping to lead these stocks on tremendous runs. They include news on the coronavirus, energy ideas, and even precious metals prices. We’re even seeing a lot on 5G.
2020 will be remembered as a year of “firsts.” We haven’t seen the stock market go on this many record gains and drops in such a short period of time. Heck, on top of that, this is the first time we’ve had a quarantine that covers the entire country (pretty much the entire world).
It feels like at times, we’ve been under water, and there are still 6 months to go in 2020. Do we know how things are going to play out? Let’s all hope for the best, but at the same time, there are a handful of trends (like the ones I mentioned above) to watch closely. That said, on a daily basis, we’ve seen several major headlines lead to penny stock breakouts. Could any of these 3 with recent, huge news, be the next big breakout?
Your No. 1 Penny Stock To Get On Your Radar Tuesday: Annovis Bio, Inc.
Annovis Bio, Inc. (NYSE American: ANVS), a clinical stage drug platform company, develops drugs to treat neurodegeneration. Its lead compound is ANVS401, which is in Phase 2a clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease in Down Syndrome, and other chronic neurodegenerative disorders. The company is also developing ANVS405 for protecting the brain after traumatic brain injury and/or stroke; and ANVS301, which is in Phase I clinical trials to increase cognitive capability in later stages of AD and dementia.
Annovis Bio Inc. reported that it has received Central Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to begin its Phase 2 clinical study in early PD and early AD patients at 15 sites across the US.
An IRB is a committee that applies research ethics by reviewing the methods proposed for research to ensure that they are ethical. Such boards are formally designated to approve or reject, monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humans. The purpose of the IRB is to assure that appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating as subjects in a research study.
The two-part study is designed to treat a combined total of 68 PD and AD patients for 4 weeks with Annovis’ lead compound, ANVS401. The study compares in both patient populations how nerve cells die by measuring all the steps in the toxic cascade leading to nerve cell death and how ANVS401 might reverse the toxic cascade and recover normal brain function. In addition to target and pathway engagement, the Phase 2 study will also examine safety and tolerability as well as the effect of ANVS401 on motor impairment and non-motor symptoms in early PD patients and the effect on memory and cognitive function in early AD subjects.
“We are excited to receive IRB approval to move forward with this Phase 2 study in PD and AD,” commented Maria Maccecchini, Ph.D., CEO of Annovis Bio. “While the original initiation of the trial was delayed due to COVID-19, we believe we remain on track to complete the study by the first quarter of 2021.”
Your No. 2 Penny Stock To Get On Your Radar Tuesday: Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRVS), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of immuno-oncology therapies. Its lead product candidate is CPI-444, an oral, small molecule antagonist of the A2A receptor that is in Phase I/Ib clinical trial for adenosine, an immune checkpoint. The company is also developing CPI-006, an anti-CD73 monoclonal antibody that inhibits the production of adenosine; an antagonist of the adenosine A2B receptor; and CPI-818, a small molecule covalent inhibitor of interleukin-2 inducible kinase.
Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has initiated a Phase 1 study to investigate a novel immunotherapy approach for patients with COVID-19. The first cohort of five patients enrolled in the study was treated at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. The study is expected to enroll up to 30 patients at several sites in the United States. This follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) review and acceptance of the Company’s investigational new drug (IND) application for the COVID-19 study.
Corvus is studying an agonistic (immunostimulatory) humanized monoclonal antibody, designated as CPI-006, which has demonstrated a potential new approach to immunotherapy of infectious diseases and cancer. In both in vitro and in vivo studies in cancer patients, CPI-006 has demonstrated binding to various immune cells and the inducement of a humoral adaptive immune response – B cell activation and lymphocyte trafficking leading to the production of antigen-specific immunoglobulin (IgM and IgG) antibodies. Administration of CPI-006 has also led to increased levels of memory B cells, which are the cells responsible for long-term immunity. The similar production of antibodies and memory cells to pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, may provide immediate and long-term clinical benefits for patients including shortened recovery time and improved long-term protective immunity.
To date, over 90 cancer patients have been treated with CPI-006 in the Corvus Phase 1/1b study, with dosing as high as 24 mg/kg every three weeks. CPI-006 has been well tolerated in these patients and evidence of B-cell activation and lymphocyte trafficking was observed in patients that received single doses as low as 1 mg/kg. Corvus’ study showed that CPI-006 is associated with increases in memory B cells, the emergence of new B cell clones and, in some patients, the production of novel anti-tumor antibodies. These results have been previously reported in presentations at the Society of Immunotherapy of Cancer annual meeting in 2018 and 2019 and in a presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in 2019. CPI-006 was designed to bind to an epitope on an antigen known as CD73. This antigen is known to be involved in lymphocyte migration and activation. CPI-006 binds to a distinct region of CD73 and behaves as an agonist that serves as a signal to activate certain immune cells. As previously reported, binding of CPI-006 affects B cells, T cells and antigen presenting cells. The collection of observed changes are consistent with enhanced antigen recognition and induction of an adaptive immune response.
A recently enrolled patient with advanced metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was diagnosed with concomitant COVID-19 by nasal swab PCR testing (polymerase chain reaction) at the time of initiating CPI-006 therapy for cancer. The patient was in a very high-risk group for potential progression of her COVID-19 including elderly, prior immunosuppressive therapies for cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as comorbidities. The patient remained asymptomatic from COVID-19 following treatment with CPI-006. Serum antibody testing demonstrated no anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody at baseline and the development of high titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM of >1:100,000 and 1:3,200, respectively, within six weeks of treatment with CPI-006. The patient’s PCR viral test converted to negative along with the rising titers of antibody. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers seen in this patient would be considered to be high as recovered patients with serum titers of 1:320 or higher are candidates to donate blood for COVID-19 convalescent plasma therapy. Memory B cells in the blood of this patient also increased to 30% of total B cells, from 16% previously.
Your No. 3 Penny Stock To Get On Your Radar Tuesday: Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: HEPA), a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of pleiotropic drug therapy for the treatment of chronic liver diseases in the United States. It is involved in developing CRV431, a cyclophilin inhibitor that has completed the Phase I clinical trials for multiple biochemical pathways involved in the progression of liver diseases; and Tenofovir exalidex, a lipid acyclic nucleoside phosphonate that delivers high intracellular concentrations of the active antiviral agent tenofovir diphosphate for the treatment of Hepatitis B.
Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that its clinical phase, anti-fibrotic drug candidate, CRV431, additionally was efficacious in two distinct preclinical research models related to COVID-19 disease. Firstly, CRV431 demonstrated strong anti-inflammatory actions in a non-viral, acute lung injury model and on some measures outperformed dexamethasone, a recently recommended treatment for COVID-19. Secondly, cell culture experiments demonstrated CRV431 antiviral activity towards SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease. These results indicate the potential of CRV431 to simultaneously address the two most important objectives in the development of a therapeutic drug for COVID-19.
Many individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus develop respiratory symptoms which can progress to a severe form of lung disease called acute respiratory distress syndrome (“ARDS”). ARDS patients may require admission to intensive care units and are at increased risk of death. COVID-19-associated ARDS is characterized by lung cell damage, white blood cell inflammation, especially neutrophils, and elevated levels of inflammatory molecules such as interleukin-6 (“IL-6”).1 One strategy to treat COVID-19 patients is to try to decrease the viral infection with antiviral therapies. Another strategy is to try to dampen the inflammatory responses that lead to ARDS and other COVID-19 complications. The antiviral drug, remdesivir, and the anti-inflammatory corticosteroid, dexamethasone, have emerged as front-line treatments for severely affected COVID-19 patients.2 However, concerns also have been expressed about the utility of these treatments, such as their potency and the possibility that corticosteroid treatment could increase peak viral titers.