What happened

Shares of NRx Pharmaceuticals (NRXP 11.05%) jumped 11.8% as of the market close on Wednesday. The big gain came after the company announced positive safety findings from a late-stage study evaluating its drug Zyesami in combination with Gilead Sciences' Veklury in treating hospitalized patients with acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19.

So what

NRx didn't provide details from the late-stage study of Zyesami and Veklury. However, the company stated that the study's Data Safety Monitoring Board has identified no new safety issues and is recommending moving forward with enrollment in the trial.

Gloved hand between fallen wood dominoes spelling "COVID-19" and standing wood dominoes.

Image source: Getty Images.

That was enough for investors to drive the biotech stock higher today. NRx reported results from a phase 2b/3 study in July that found that Zyesami helped prevent cytokine storms in COVID-19 patients. Cytokine storms occur when the body produces too many cytokine proteins, which can result in serious organ damage. 

Now what

Although the update from NRx was good news, the big milestone that investors are waiting for is U.S. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Zyesami. NRx submitted its EUA filing on May 31, 2021.