AB Science announces dosing of first patient in Phase 2 trial of masitinib’s antiviral activity against the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus




Paris, 29 November, 2021, 8.45pm CET

AB Science SA (Euronext - FR0010557264 - AB) today announced that the first patient has been dosed in the phase 2 trial evaluating the antiviral activity of masitinib in patients who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

The study plans to enroll 78 patients, either non-hospitalized patients with mild disease or hospitalized patients without requirement for non-invasive ventilation. The primary efficacy objective will be to demonstrate that masitinib can reduce the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19) faster than a placebo control group, which will receive best supportive care. Study AB21002 has been authorized so far in Russia and South Africa where COVID-19 is particularly active.

Alain Moussy, cofounder and CEO of AB Science commented: “The new Omicron variant reminds us that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is rapidly evolving with the selection and accumulation of mutations, mainly in the Spike protein, and that these mutations may lead to increased transmissibility of the virus and potential evasion of some vaccines. Evidently, there is a continued need for effective antiviral treatments that are insensitive to these variants.

Professor Olivier Hermine, President of the Scientific Committee of AB Science and member of the Académie des Sciences in France said, “Masitinib has unique properties among potential therapeutic options for patients with COVID-19. It has antiviral activity against the original virus and also against the alpha, beta and delta variants, as is to be expected with an anti-protease drug. It is also expected to be active against the Omicron variant because its activity is not dependent on the spike protein. In addition, masitinib is an anti-inflammatory drug through its capacity to block the immune response driven by macrophages and mast cells. Antiviral treatments must be taken in the first days of the infection to maximize their efficacy; however, masitinib may be effective even if taken later because it is not only an antiviral drug. This property might be of crucial importance for patients with comorbidities. Also, long-term effects of COVID-19 mimic mast cell activation syndrome, in particular concerning neurological symptoms, and masitinib may also represent an option for treating long-term effects of COVID-19 (long COVID).

Alain Moussy further indicated: “We are committed to continue the clinical development of masitinib in COVID-19 because this pandemic is clearly not over yet. Moreover, masitinib appears to be a unique drug in the anti-COVID arsenal, having potential therapeutic activity across all of its stages by merit of its dual antiviral/anti-inflammatory mechanism of action.

About masitinib
Masitinib is an orally administered tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets mast cells and macrophages, important cells for immunity, through inhibiting a limited number of kinases. Based on its unique mechanism of action, masitinib can be developed in a large number of conditions in oncology, in inflammatory diseases, and in certain diseases of the central nervous system. In oncology due to its immunotherapy effect, masitinib can have an effect on survival, alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Through its activity on mast cells and microglia and consequently the inhibition of the activation of the inflammatory process, masitinib can have an effect on the symptoms associated with some inflammatory and central nervous system diseases and the degeneration of these diseases.

About AB Science
Founded in 2001, AB Science is a pharmaceutical company specializing in the research, development and commercialization of protein kinase inhibitors (PKIs), a class of targeted proteins whose action are key in signaling pathways within cells. Our programs target only diseases with high unmet medical needs, often lethal with short term survival or rare or refractory to previous line of treatment.
AB Science has developed a proprietary portfolio of molecules and the Company’s lead compound, masitinib, has already been registered for veterinary medicine and is developed in human medicine in oncology, neurological diseases, inflammatory diseases and viral diseases. The company is headquartered in Paris, France, and listed on Euronext Paris (ticker: AB).

Further information is available on AB Science’s website:

Forward-looking Statements - AB Science
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These forward-looking statements can often be identified by the words "expect", "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate" or "plan" as well as other similar terms. While AB Science believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of AB Science and which may imply that results and actual events significantly differ from those expressed, induced or anticipated in the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include the uncertainties related to product development of the Company which may not be successful or to the marketing authorizations granted by competent authorities or, more generally, any factors that may affect marketing capacity of the products developed by AB Science, as well as those developed or identified in the public documents published by AB Science. AB Science disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update the forward-looking information and statements, subject to the applicable regulations, in particular articles 223-1 et seq. of the AMF General Regulations.

For additional information, please contact:

AB Science
Financial Communication & Media Relations

Media Relations – USA

Kate Barrette

+1 212 223 0561

Media Relations – France

Arthur Rouillé

+33 (0)1 44 71 00 15


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CP COVID AB21002 First Patient VENG VF