Athira Pharma, Inc. | October 18, 2022
Athira Pharma, Inc. a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration, today announced that following an unblinded interim efficacy and futility analysis, an independent data monitoring committee recommended continuation of the LIFT-AD study of fosgonimeton in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The committee also determined that, with the additional enrollment of fewer than 150 patients for a total enrollment of less than 300 patients without background therapy the study will be well powered for the primary endpoint given the preliminary effect size observed. The primary endpoint of LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition and function.
Results from the completed exploratory ACT-AD Phase 2 study showed a favorable safety profile and suggested positive effects on measures of cognition function and neurodegeneration in patients taking fosgonimeton without background therapy. Guided by these results, the Company proactively amended LIFT-AD to focus on patients not on background therapy. The unblinded interim analysis was then conducted in approximately 100 patients not on background therapy to corroborate observations from ACT-AD and ensure LIFT-AD is well powered to determine the effect of fosgonimeton on clinically meaningful and commercially relevant endpoints.
“The results from the data monitoring committee’s unblinded analysis give us confidence in a potentially positive outcome for LIFT-AD, as stringent evaluation criteria were applied based on validated and clinically meaningful cognitive and functional outcomes. This analysis supports the potential clinical benefits of fosgonimeton treatment and underscores the rationale for continued development of this promising new therapy.”
Hans Moebius, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Athira
“We are very excited by the results of this independent review as we believe they mitigate the risk of the fosgonimeton development plan, support the potential clinical benefit of fosgonimeton and inform the sample size needed to achieve success with LIFT-AD,” said Mark Litton, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Athira. “We are now targeting to complete enrollment in mid-2023 and report topline data in early 2024. Importantly, we have a strong balance sheet to execute our plans through key data readouts and beyond. Moving forward, we remain keenly focused on advancing this novel investigational therapy with the hope of positively impacting the lives of millions of Alzheimer’s patients.
“Our goal with fosgonimeton is to demonstrate its ability to improve cognition and function and to ultimately provide neuroprotection. The ACT-AD study suggested these benefits, and the results of the LIFT-AD interim analysis corroborate those findings,” added Dr. Litton. “We believe any drug that can demonstrate neuroprotection could become a treatment of choice for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s patients.”
About the LIFT-AD Clinical Study
LIFT-AD is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of fosgonimeton for patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Patients are randomized across two dose groups and one placebo group on a 1:1:1 basis to receive a subcutaneous injection of fosgonimeton or placebo once daily over a treatment course of 26 weeks. The primary endpoint for LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale and function. Additional information on the LIFT-AD study can be found at: NCT04488419.
Fosgonimeton is a small molecule designed to enhance the activity of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor, MET, to impact neurodegeneration and regenerate brain tissue. The function of the HGF/MET receptor system may be impaired in the brain under conditions of neurodegeneration. In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, fosgonimeton has the potential to address the broader dementia population, including Parkinson’s disease dementia and Dementia with Lewy bodies, as the mode of action focuses on network recovery and synaptic signal transmission in the brain.
The ACT-AD trial was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01AG06268. The information presented in this press release is solely the responsibility of Athira and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About Athira Pharma, Inc.
Athira Pharma, Inc., headquartered in the Seattle, Washington area, is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration. Athira aims to provide rapid cognitive improvement and alter the course of neurological diseases with its novel mechanism of action. Athira is currently advancing its pipeline of therapeutic candidates targeting the HGF/MET neurotrophic system for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies and neuropsychiatric indications.
BIOCORP and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany | October 11, 2022
BIOCORP a French company specialized in the design, development, and manufacturing of innovative medical devices, and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science, and technology company, have entered into an agreement for the development and supply of a specific version of Mallya device as an accessory for one of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's drug delivery devices.
Manufactured in Clermont-Ferrand Mallya is a Bluetooth enabled clip-on device for pen injectors that collects dose and time of each injection and transfers information in real time to a companion software. Mallya is the first in its category to receive the CE-mark and commercial versions for insulin pen injectors are already available and distributed in Europe and other geographies. Major agreements have already been signed by BIOCORP with Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to develop specific versions of the technology in the field of Insulin and Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
Healthcare companies BIOCORP and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will develop a new version of Mallya to help patients monitor their injection during their treatment. The device will automatically keep track of doses injected with timestamp and indicate that the product is administered properly, aiming to support patients with self-injections and to provide reassurance to patients.
Financial details of the partnership include payments from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, up to 5 million € for the development of the product within the first three years of the collaboration. Additional revenues are estimated to reach up to 8 million € during the first 5 years after launch depending on commercial milestones and adoption of Mallya devices by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany patients with further upside potential in the subsequent years.
"We are delighted with this new partnership with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, extending our collaboration to additional therapeutic areas. We had already announced that there is a great opportunity for our connected device Mallya in various therapeutic areas. As in diabetes, Mallya aims to reduce patients' stress and improve compliance with their treatments to optimize and secure the results “,
Éric Dessertenne, CEO of BIOCORP
Recognized for its expertise in the development and manufacture of medical devices and delivery systems, BIOCORP has today acquired a leading position in the connected medical device market thanks to Mallya. This smart sensor for insulin injection pens allows reliable monitoring of injected doses and thus offers better compliance in the treatment of patients with diabetes. Available for sale from 2020, Mallya spearheads BIOCORP's product portfolio of innovative connected solutions. The company has 74 employees. BIOCORP is listed on Euronext since July 2015.
Anokion | October 19, 2022
Anokion SA, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on treating autoimmune disease by restoring normal immune tolerance announced that Pfizer has made a $35 million equity investment in Anokion through the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative. In conjunction with the investment, Michael Vincent, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and chief scientific officer, Inflammation & Immunology, Pfizer, has joined the company’s scientific advisory board, which will be announced later this year, and Allison Kean, M.D., executive director, Worldwide Business Development, Pfizer has joined Anokion’s board of directors as an observer.
Separately, Anokion and Pfizer have entered into an agreement to leverage Pfizer’s development expertise and capabilities in support of the continued clinical development of KAN-101, Anokion’s lead candidate for the treatment of individuals with celiac disease.
“We are excited about these agreements with Pfizer as they provide us with important resources and expertise to advance our KAN-101 clinical program and our earlier-stage pipeline. People living with autoimmune diseases like celiac disease need additional treatment options, and we are excited to work with Pfizer to potentially develop these utilizing our immune tolerance platform. We also look forward to leveraging Pfizer’s insights and capabilities in support of our Phase 2 clinical program in patients with celiac disease.”
Deborah Geraghty, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Anokion
“We believe Anokion has a unique opportunity to develop potential durable and disease-modifying treatment options for people with celiac disease and other immune-mediated disorders, and we look forward to supporting them in the continued development of KAN-101,” said Dr. Vincent. “The agreements announced today are yet another example of our commitment to collaborating with biotechs to accelerate compelling external science that could lead to true breakthroughs for patients.”
Anokion intends to use a portion of the proceeds to fund its Phase 2 clinical program of KAN-101 for the treatment of individuals with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder triggered by ingestion of gluten, for which there are no approved therapeutic treatments available. Data from Anokion’s Phase 1 ACeD study (Assessment of KAN-101 in Celiac Disease) were presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2022, showing that treatment with KAN-101 was safe and tolerated, reduced T cell responses following gluten challenge, and demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibition of gluten-induced serum IL-2 (interleukin-2), a key disease biomarker that may correlate with the timing and severity of symptoms after gluten exposure in celiac disease. Based on favorable findings, Anokion is preparing to initiate patient dosing in a Phase 2 clinical trial in the second half of 2022, supported by Pfizer.
KAN-101 is an investigational therapy being evaluated as a treatment for individuals with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disease triggered by ingestion of gluten, for which there are no approved therapeutic treatments available. KAN-101 is designed to induce tolerance to gliadin, a core component of gluten, through natural pathways in the liver. KAN-101 has been granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of celiac disease.
Anokion SA is a clinical-stage Swiss biotechnology company that aims to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients suffering from autoimmune diseases by restoring normal immune tolerance. The company is focused on both prevalent and rare autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. Anokion’s distinct approach leverages the company’s immune-based platform, which targets natural pathways in the liver to restore immune tolerance and address the underlying cause of autoimmune disease.