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Release Details

Apellis Provides Update on APL-9 for Severe COVID-19

March 4, 2021
  • Company will not pursue additional development of APL-9 for the treatment of severe COVID-19

  • Interim review by independent data monitoring committee (DMC) found no meaningful reduction in the overall mortality rate in Phase 1/2 study

  • No safety signals were observed by the DMC

WALTHAM, Mass., March 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: APLS), a global biopharmaceutical company and leader in targeted C3 therapies, today announced that the company will not pursue additional development of APL-9, an investigational targeted C3 therapy designed for acute interventions, for the treatment of severe COVID-19. The decision followed an interim review of mortality data from the Phase 1/2 study by an independent data monitoring committee (DMC), which found no meaningful reduction in the overall mortality rate in patients treated with APL-9 in combination with standard of care therapy compared to standard of care alone. No safety signals were observed by the DMC.

“We initiated the clinical development of APL-9 in patients with severe COVID-19 because we believed that complement dysregulation may play a key role in disease mortality. We felt a responsibility to learn if controlling complement could help save lives during this devastating pandemic,” said Lukas Scheibler, Ph.D., chief innovation officer at Apellis. “While the mortality results from this study were not what we had hoped, we extend our heartfelt thanks to the patients and their families, healthcare providers, and investigators who joined us in working to address an urgent public health need. We remain confident in the potential of targeting C3 for complement-driven diseases and are committed to bringing transformative treatments to patients.”

No additional endpoints were analyzed as part of the interim review by the DMC. Enrollment is complete, and the study reached the last patient visit. Apellis plans to provide full results in a scientific forum following completion of the full data analysis.

About APL-9
APL-9 is an investigational drug designed to control the complement cascade centrally at C3 and may have the potential to treat a range of diseases caused by excessive or uncontrolled activation of complement. APL-9 leverages the same mechanism of action as Apellis’ lead compound, pegcetacoplan (APL-2), but has a lower molecular weight and shorter half-life. APL-9 is designed to be intravenously administered for acute use.

About Apellis 
Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company that is committed to leveraging courageous science, creativity, and compassion to deliver life-changing therapies. Leaders in targeted C3 therapies, we aim to develop transformative therapies for a broad range of debilitating diseases that are driven by excessive activation of the complement cascade, including those within hematology, ophthalmology, nephrology, and neurology. For more information, please visit

Apellis Forward-Looking Statement 
Statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects, as well as any other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the implications of preliminary clinical data. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: whether the company’s clinical trials will be fully enrolled and completed when anticipated; whether preliminary or interim results from a clinical trial will be predictive of the final results of the trial; whether results obtained in preclinical studies and clinical trials will be indicative of results that will be generated in future clinical trials; whether pegcetacoplan will successfully advance through the clinical trial process on a timely basis, or at all; whether the results of the company’s clinical trials will warrant regulatory submissions and whether pegcetacoplan will receive approval from the FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies for GA, PNH, CAD, C3G, IC-MPGN, ALS or any other indication when expected or at all; whether, if Apellis’ products receive approval, they will be successfully distributed and marketed; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Apellis’ Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 25, 2020 and the risks described in other filings that Apellis may make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Apellis specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Media Contact: 
Lissa Pavluk  

Investor Contact:
Argot Partners
+1 212.600.1902