PR Newswire | October 10, 2023
Immunic, Inc. a biotechnology company developing a clinical pipeline of orally administered, small molecule therapies for chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, today announced positive interim data from its phase 2 CALLIPER trial of nuclear receptor related 1 (Nurr1) activator, vidofludimus calcium (IMU-838), in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS). The Company believes that this data shows biomarker evidence that vidofludimus calcium's activity extends beyond the previously observed anti-inflammatory effects, thereby further reinforcing its neuroprotective potential.
Serum NfL responses were consistently observed for vidofludimus calcium across progressive MS disease and all subpopulations. In the overall PMS population at 24 weeks (N=203), vidofludimus calcium was associated with a 6.7% reduction from baseline in serum NfL, compared to a 15.8% increase over baseline in placebo (p=0.01, post hoc). At 48 weeks (N=79), vidofludimus calcium reduced serum NfL by 10.4% from baseline, compared to a 6.4% increase in placebo. Substantial reductions were also seen across all PMS subtypes, as well as in patients that show or do not show disease and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) activity.
Although early, interim GFAP data also showed a promising signal: at 24 weeks (N=203), GFAP increased by 3.7% for vidofludimus calcium, and 4.4% for placebo. At 48 weeks (N=79), the change was only 2.7% for vidofludimus calcium, with a 6.4% increase for placebo. Progression of GFAP response is generally thought to evolve more slowly than NfL, and the Company believes that a longer follow-up may further strengthen this signal.
"Serum NfL has been consistently shown to capture disease activity and to predict future disability in MS. Vidofludimus calcium shows a separation in serum NfL over placebo in this interim analysis, an effect also seen across different subgroups," stated Prof. Jens Kuhle, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Physician, Head of Neuroimmunology Unit and Multiple Sclerosis Centre, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland. "Particularly remarkable, the non-active progressive MS population, which represents the highest unmet medical need in MS, also showed differences in NfL levels over this relatively short observation period in favor of vidofludimus calcium. Meanwhile, although longer follow-up is needed, the GFAP data set also shows a potential promising early signal. Overall, the interim biomarker data further support vidofludimus calcium's possible activity beyond an anti-inflammatory effect, which may be related to its potent Nurr1 activation."
"The clear separation observed in serum NfL for vidofludimus calcium over placebo in the PMS patient population represents another major step forward for, what potentially could be, a first-in-class Nurr1 activator for MS," commented Daniel Vitt, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Immunic. "Although no head-to-head data is available, it is encouraging to see that vidofludimus calcium's improvement in NfL over placebo appears at least as good as, and is in fact numerically higher than that observed with historical studies of other therapeutic approaches for PMS. We believe that, if the top-line CALLIPER data, expected in April of 2025, continue to show a neuroprotective effect, we may be able to position vidofludimus calcium as the first oral treatment option for non-active SPMS. Additionally, the drug's first-in-class ability to activate Nurr1, a known neuroprotective target, should also significantly benefit our ongoing phase 3 ENSURE program in relapsing MS where prevention of disability progression independent of relapse activity (PIRA), serves as a key outcome."
"We are very pleased to see such strong improvements in serum NfL for vidofludimus calcium over placebo in the overall PMS population of this interim analysis, as well as across all PMS subtypes and in patients with and without disease activity, and with and without MRI activity. We even saw evidence in non-active SPMS, a population where the medical need for new therapies is high as there is currently no relevant treatment available in the US," added Andreas Muehler, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Immunic. "Finally, we were also excited to see an encouraging early signal with GFAP. This is a newer biomarker which is thought to evolve more slowly and with lower amplitude than NfL, and longer follow-up will hopefully allow us to see even stronger results."
The Company believes that these results corroborate separate findings from its phase 2 EMPhASIS trial in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), where vidofludimus calcium was associated with a decrease in serum NfL at 24 weeks (-17.0% for 30 mg and -20.5% for 45 mg) as compared to baseline values, as contrasted with a 6.5% increase in serum NfL over baseline among placebo patients.
CALLIPER is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial which enrolled 467 patients with primary PMS or active or non-active secondary PMS at more than 70 sites throughout North America as well as Western, Central and Eastern Europe. Patients were randomized to either 45 mg daily doses of vidofludimus calcium or placebo, and the trial's primary endpoint is the annualized rate of percent brain volume change up to 120 weeks. Key secondary endpoints include the annualized rate of change in whole brain atrophy and time to 24-week confirmed disability progression based on the expanded disability status scale (EDSS).
Anticipated MS Clinical Milestones
Top-line data from the phase 2 CALLIPER trial of vidofludimus calcium in PMS is expected in April of 2025.
Data from the interim analysis of the phase 3 ENSURE program of vidofludimus calcium in relapsing MS is expected in late 2024, with the top-line readout of the first of the ENSURE trials at the end of 2025.
The interim data of the phase 2 CALLIPER trial of vidofludimus calcium in PMS will be filed on a Form 8-K and discussed during the management presentation to be held tomorrow at 8:00 am ET. The presentation will also be accessible on the "Events and Presentations" section of Immunic's website at: https://ir.imux.com/events-and-presentations.
About Progressive Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. In MS, myelin, the coating that protects the nerves, is attacked and damaged by the immune system. Thus, MS is considered an immune-mediated demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS) includes both primary progressive MS (PPMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS). PPMS is characterized by steadily worsening neurologic function from the onset of symptoms without initial relapse or remissions. SPMS is identified following an initial relapsing-remitting course, after which the disease becomes more steadily progressive, with (active SPMS) or without (non-active SPMS) other disease activity present.
About Vidofludimus Calcium (IMU-838)
Vidofludimus calcium is a small molecule investigational drug in development as an oral next-generation treatment option for patients with multiple sclerosis and other chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The selective immune modulator activates the neuroprotective transcription factor nuclear receptor related 1 (Nurr1), which is associated with direct neuroprotective properties. Additionally, vidofludimus calcium is a known inhibitor of the enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), which is a key enzyme in the metabolism of overactive immune cells and virus-infected cells. This mechanism is associated with the anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects of vidofludimus calcium. Vidofludimus calcium has been observed to selectively act on hyperactive T and B cells while leaving other immune cells largely unaffected and enabling normal immune system function, e.g., in fighting infections. To date, vidofludimus calcium has been tested in more than 1,400 individuals and has shown an attractive pharmacokinetic, safety and tolerability profile. Vidofludimus calcium is not yet licensed or approved in any country.
About Immunic, Inc.
Immunic, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing a clinical pipeline of orally administered, small molecule therapies for chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The company's lead development program, vidofludimus calcium (IMU-838), is currently in phase 3 and phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of relapsing and progressive multiple sclerosis, respectively, and has shown therapeutic activity in phase 2 clinical trials in patients suffering from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis. Vidofludimus calcium combines neuroprotective effects, through its mechanism as a first-in-class nuclear receptor related 1 (Nurr1) activator, with additional anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects, by selectively inhibiting the enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH). IMU-856, which targets the protein Sirtuin 6 (SIRT6), is intended to restore intestinal barrier function and regenerate bowel epithelium, which could potentially be applicable in numerous gastrointestinal diseases, such as celiac disease, where it is currently in preparations for a phase 2 clinical trial. IMU-381, which currently is in preclinical testing, is a next generation molecule being developed to specifically address the needs of gastrointestinal diseases.
PR Newswire | October 12, 2023
Ichnos Sciences, a global clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative multispecific antibodies for oncology, announced that the company has entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for its OX40 antagonist monoclonal antibody portfolio with Astria Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for rare allergic and immunological diseases. With the execution of this agreement, Ichnos has successfully licensed its two assets for inflammatory and immunological diseases, a key milestone in the company's prioritization of its pipeline of oncology drug candidates.
Within the terms of the agreement, Astria will assume full cost and responsibility for the global development and commercialization of the licensed therapeutic program for all indications. In exchange, Ichnos will receive up to $320 million in upfront, development, regulatory and sales milestone payments in addition to up to low double-digit royalties. Ichnos has also agreed to allow Astria to draw down on its existing investigational drug substance and drug product stocks at normalized costs to facilitate development.
Telazorlimab is a novel, humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody that targets OX40 on T cells responsible for inflammation and immunity diseases. Excessive OX40 signaling, expressed on activated T cells, is the feature of several inflammatory diseases, including atopic dermatitis (AD). Astria plans to develop an affinity-matured version of telazorlimab and apply YTE half-life extension technology to create a product that aims to address the need for a safe, effective, and infrequently administered AD treatment.
"As Ichnos continues to grow as a biotechnology company, this agreement enables our team to focus on advancing our robust pipeline of clinical-stage multispecific antibodies in oncology generated by our proprietary BEAT® platform1, as well as continue the discovery and development of our NK-cell engaging programs for solid tumors," said Cyril Konto, M.D., President and CEO of Ichnos. "I am proud of the work achieved by the Ichnos team in successfully completing the Phase 2b with telazorlimab in atopic dermatitis and potentially opening up a new therapeutic class for this disease. Ichnos is confident in Astria Therapeutics' capabilities and vision for pursuing the development of its OX40 program and delivering a potentially life-changing treatment to patients with inflammatory and immune diseases."
"We are looking forward to building on the foundational work that Ichnos has done with their OX40 portfolio," said Jill Milne, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Astria Therapeutics. "We believe that by using Ichnos' affinity-matured next generation monoclonal antibody OX40 antagonist and applying YTE half-life extension technology, we have the potential to deliver a best-in-class profile for atopic dermatitis patients; one that we think can be safe, effective, and long-acting. In addition to OX40 antagonism already being a clinically validated mechanism in atopic dermatitis, we also are excited about the opportunity for potential expansion into additional indications."
About Ichnos Sciences Inc.
A fully integrated, global biotech with the spirit of a start-up, Ichnos is shifting the way the world thinks about innovation in medicine through its research and development of transformative, disease-centric treatments in oncology. The company, with headquarters in New York, N.Y., is rapidly advancing a clinical-stage pipeline of novel, first-in-class candidates designed to address complex diseases and to treat patients holistically. With its patented BEAT® technology platform and pioneering teams, Ichnos Sciences has a mission to provide breakthrough, curative therapies that will extend and improve lives, writing a new chapter in healthcare.
businesswire | October 19, 2023
Global genomics solutions provider Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), an operating company in the Life Sciences segment of Danaher Corporation announced the completion of its new Therapeutic Oligonucleotide Manufacturing facility in Coralville, Iowa. The milestone marks a significant achievement in the company’s 35-year-history—its entrance into the therapeutics space—and enables IDT to manufacture products for research use through to current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) grade cell and gene therapy reagents to provide researchers with a single partner that can help them rapidly transition from the lab to therapeutic development.
The 41,000-square-foot-site will produce cGMP cell and gene therapy reagents, including single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) and donor oligos for homology-directed repair (HDR) with additional offerings to follow. These new capabilities and offerings will be supported with comprehensive documentation and testing, a support team, and regulatory guidance to help accelerate researchers’ path to the clinic.
“An increasing number of customers are seeking out IDT as a trusted partner for their CRISPR genome editing needs, and are asking us to be the provider that can help them bridge the gap from lab to clinic,” said Demaris Mills, president, IDT. “Now, with our new cGMP manufacturing facility, IDT can provide a complete CRISPR workflow—from design to analysis—that supports cell and gene therapy developers in all stages of therapeutic development, with the same support and expertise they have come to know from IDT. These new manufacturing capabilities, which have been informed by our decades of oligonucleotide synthesis manufacturing expertise, evolves IDT’s business model from Research Use Only to cGMP, and enables us to help more people.”
Danaher Vice President and Group Executive Chris Riley added, “The future of genomic medicine hinges on the industrialization of biology to make life-saving therapies more accessible to people. As a pioneer in genome editing, IDT’s continued investments will enable customers to rapidly move from clinical development to commercialization. This new facility is another significant milestone in IDT’s innovation journey, one we envision will have a profound impact in genomic medicine for years to come.”
The Therapeutic Oligo Manufacturing facility features ISO 8 cleanrooms, purification suites, chemical distribution and storage rooms, quality control labs, analytical lab space for product testing, ancillary and office spaces and shell space for future expansion. Manufacturing is performed in accordance with ICH Q7 cGMP standards for consistent and reliable quality. The controlled-access building features environmental controls for temperature, humidity and air pressure throughout, supported by an environmental program and continuous monitoring system. The addition of this new facility expands IDT’s global manufacturing footprint and enables the company to provide a range of manufacturing capabilities, including Research Use Only (RUO), large scale RUO, Engineering Run and cGMP (ICH Q7).
A Decade of CRISPR Innovation
Since 2015, IDT has continued to accelerate the pace of genomics with its complete portfolio of Alt-R™ CRISPR genome editing solutions. Its portfolio includes several first-to-market research products as well as solutions to meet researchers’ complete workflow—from design to analysis—to enable greater quality, simplicity, and cost efficiency. Last year, IDT launched the Alt-R™ HDR Donor Blocks, an improved solution for increasing homology-directed repair (HDR) rates in large fragment knock-in experiments, and expanded access to its Alt-R™ Custom CRISPR gRNA Libraries for drug discovery. In 2021, IDT also unveiled its rhAmpSeq™ CRISPR Analysis System, an end-to-end solution for characterizing and quantifying the full array of on- and off-target genome editing events in CRISPR research products.
IDT’s research and development teams have also been at the forefront of CRISPR innovation, with achievements that include the development of multiple proprietary CRISPR reagents such as IDT’s Alt-R™ S.p. HiFi Cas9 Nuclease and the Alt-R L.b. and A.s. Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra enzymes. Notably, their groundbreaking research and collaborations with scientists around the globe has been published in more than 200 scientific journals as peer-reviewed articles, and is helping to shape the future of genomics and biotechnology.
IDT collaborated with M.A. Mortenson Company, a team led by OPN Architects and Barr Engineering Co. on the facility design and construction of its cGMP facility.
For more than 35 years, Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. (IDT) has been empowering genomics laboratories with an oligonucleotide manufacturing process unlike anyone else in the industry, with the most advanced synthesis, modification, purification, and quality control capabilities available. Since its founding in 1987, IDT has progressed from a leading oligo manufacturer to a genomics solutions provider supporting key application areas such as next generation sequencing, CRISPR genome editing, synthetic biology, digital PCR, and RNA interference. IDT manufactures products used by scientists researching many forms of cancer and most inherited and infectious diseases.