Data published in the Lancet’s EBioMedicine shows that the pathogenic envelope protein of the human endogenous retrovirus W (HERV-W ENV) is found on lymphocytes of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and that its level of expression is associated with disease severity.

▪ HERV-W ENV’s pro-inflammatory properties thought to act as an “accelerant” of the activation of the innate immune system, fueling the severity of COVID-19 evolution and impacting long term recovery.

▪ Preliminary data available on Research Square also shows HERV-W ENV expression in lymphocytes following in vitro exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in about 20% of healthy blood donors, suggesting individual susceptibility.

▪ With HERVs as a possible aggravating agent of COVID-19, GeNeuro’s temelimab, an anti-HERV-W ENV monoclonal antibody already in Phase II clinical trials with an excellent tolerability and safety, could, without any prejudice to its existing programs, start tests against COVID-19 as early as this summer.

For more information,