Applied Biology in Collaboration with Researchers at University Hospital Ramon y Cajal Hospital Announce Results from Study of Androgen Receptor Genetics in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

IRVINE, Calif.–()–Applied Biology in collaboration with researchers at University Hospital Ramon y Cajal in Madrid, Spain, today announced results from their androgen receptor genetics study in hospitalized COVID-19 male patients (NCT04368897, The aim of the study was to confirm a direct association between androgens and COVID-19, potentially paving the way for a breakthrough therapy against SARS-CoV-2.

This prospective longitudinal study analyzed the length of a variable genetic repeat in the androgen receptor gene of hospitalized COVID-19 male patients. The results of the clinical study were published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (doi: 10.1111/jdv.16956).

The study demonstrated that the proportion of male patients admitted to the ICU with the longer variant was statistically significantly higher compared to males with the shorter variant. Similarly, the risk of ICU admissions was significantly higher among males with the longer variant (OR 2.9143). In addition, COVID-19 patients with the shorter variant experienced a shorter duration of hospitalization compared to males with the longer variant (25 days vs 47.5 days). Overall, the longer variant of the androgen receptor was associated with higher disease severity among hospitalized male COVID-19 patients.

The team was led by Andy Goren, MD, Medical Researcher and Co-Investigator with the Department of Dermatology at the University Hospital Ramon y Cajal in Madrid, Spain; Sergio Vañó Galván, MD, from the Department of Dermatology at the University Hospital Ramon y Cajal; Sabina Herrera, MD, from the Infectious Disease Department at the University Hospital Ramon y Cajal; Carlos G. Wambier, MD, PhD, from the Department of Dermatology at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University; and Flavio A. Cadegiani, MD, MSc, PhD, from Corpometria Institute in Brazil.

According to Dr. Sergio Vañó Galván: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to directly confirm an association between androgens and COVID-19 disease severity.”

According to Dr. Carlos Wambier: “This is another piece of the puzzle for the scientific understanding of role of androgens in the pandemic.”

Further, according to Dr. Andy Goren: “The results of this study further support our research into the use of anti-androgens in the treatment of COVID-19. If randomized prospective trials demonstrate efficacy, anti-androgens may provide a breakthrough inexpensive treatment for COVID-19.”


Founded in 2002, Applied Biology, Inc. (, headquartered in Irvine, California, is a biotechnology company specializing in hair and skin science. Applied Biology develops breakthrough drugs and medical devices for the treatment of androgen mediated dermatological conditions. Applied Biology’s R&D pipeline includes a topically applied prophylactic treatment for chemotherapy induced alopecia; a novel diagnostic device that can aid dermatologists in identifying non-responders to topical minoxidil; an adjuvant therapy for non-responders to topical minoxidil; and a novel therapy for female pattern hair loss.


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