Anti Fibrotic LOXL2 Program in Phase 1 Trials
Pharmaxis consolidated its position as a significant competitor in the NASH market as the Company's LOXL2 inhibitor joined its SSAO inhibitor in the clinic late in 2017. The phase 1 clinical trial program will report mid 2018.
The Pharmaxis drug discovery group has developed a number of selective small molecule inhibitors to the LOXL2 enzyme utilising the same amine oxidase platform that delivered the anti-inflammatory drug that was acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim in 2015. The LOXL2 enzyme is fundamental to the fibrotic cascade that follows chronic inflammation in the liver disease NASH, cardiac fibrosis, kidney fibrosis, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and it also plays a role in some cancers.
The extensive pre‐clinical program performed on the program compounds confirmed that they have all the characteristics of a successful once a day, oral drug showing excellent efficacy in several different in vivo fibrosis models including fibrosis of the liver, lung, kidney and heart. In regulatory toxicity studies, our compounds have been well tolerated and shown a good safety profile.
Pharmaxis Earns A$15 Million Milestone Payment as Boehringer Ingelheim Clinical Trial in Diabetic Retinopathy Doses 1st Patient
In January 2018 Pharmaxis Ltd announced dosing of the first patient in Boehringer Ingelheim’s Phase 2a clinical trial in patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), triggering a €10 million (~A$15 million) milestone payment to Pharmaxis. DR is the second disease to be targeted with the drug known as BI 1467335 which was discovered by Pharmaxis. BI 1467335 is also in an ongoing Phase 2a clinical trial for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Both studies are due to report in the first half of 2019.
The Phase 2a clinical trial of in diabetic retinopathy will randomise 100 patients to either drug or placebo for a 12-week treatment period with an additional 12-week follow-up period. A subsequent Phase 2b study will seek to confirm and extend these findings.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision-loss in adults aged 20-74. Of an estimated 285 million people with diabetes mellitus worldwide, approximately one third have signs of the disease.
Boehringer Ingelheim’s two-pronged clinical program with BI 1467335 is focused on tackling the common diseases related to the complications of diabetes which affect millions of people worldwide. The drug was acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim in 2015 with an upfront payment of A$41m to initially study the chronic liver condition NASH.
The milestone payment of $15 million for the commencement of a phase 2a trial in a second disease brings the total payments received by Pharmaxis from Boehringer to €57 million (~A$86 million). The total of all potential development milestones payable to Pharmaxis if both indications in the deal are approved is approximately A$625 million.
Both development plans attract the same total development payments through to approval, with the 2nd indication milestone payments weighted more towards approval. The next milestones from BI are payable if they choose to commence phase 3 trials, at which time the two indications would attract a total of €62 million in milestones.
Details of the DR clinical trial can be found here.
Watch a 5 minute video with Pharmaxis CEO Gary Phillips discussing the clinical program with Boehringer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSB0fGkW5Kk
Pictured above : Pharmaxis CEO Gary Phillips and Boehringer Ingelheim MD Australia & NZ Wes Cook mark the start of a new clinical trial in diabetic retinopathy.
Interview with Dr Kathleen Metters
Dr Kathleen Metters is a global pharmaceutical industry executive with more than 25 years’ experience and, since June 2017, has served on the Pharmaxis Board. Dr Metters visited Sydney in May 2018 for a Pharmaxis Scientific Advisory Board meeting and the annual Pharmaxis Board strategic review.
In this interview she tells Proactive Investor she has been extremely impressed with the science and business focus at Pharmaxis noting, “This is an incredibly innovative research group. They have moved into pre-clinical development compounds for particular therapeutic targets to test new mechanisms that have never been done in the industry before. They have all the qualities to do it again and again. They are really rigorous scientists, everything they do is of the highest quality. They know every step of the business. This is a small company but it goes from research to commercialisation so they have really exquisite line of sight on what they need to do to bring forward new therapies. They are intensively collaborative…and all this adds up to the “secret sauce” which is the perfect culture.
Watch the interview here.