VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (the “Company” or “Algernon”) (CSE: AGN) (FRANKFURT: AGW0) (OTCQB: AGNPF) a clinical stage pharmaceutical development company is pleased to announce that it has received positive feedback from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) at its pre-Investigational New Drug (pre-IND) meeting for its investigation of NP-120 (Ifenprodil) for the treatment of chronic cough. Ifenprodil is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist specifically targeting the NMDA-type subunit 2B (GluN2B).
The U.S. FDA meeting produced helpful guidance on the Phase 2b protocol design that was submitted by the Company as well as the endpoints that had been selected. The U.S. FDA also requested standard genotoxicity testing be completed prior to beginning the Phase 2b study, which the Company estimates will take approximately 90 days to complete.
The Company filed the pre-IND meeting request to seek guidance in the event the Company decides to move forward with a chronic cough Phase 2b study in the U.S. On September 20, 2021, the Company reported positive trending interim data from the chronic cough part of its 20-patient proof-of-concept Phase 2 idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic cough study being conducted in Australia and New Zealand.
The interim analysis examined 24-hour and waking cough counts measured using an ambulatory cough monitor at baseline and after 4 and 12 weeks of treatment with Ifenprodil, 20 mg three times daily. The data showed a trend to a relative reduction in cough count when compared to each patient’s baseline measurement control.
“We are very pleased with the response we received from the U.S. FDA,” said Christopher J. Moreau CEO of Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. “We look forward to the final data set from our IPF and chronic cough study so that we can plan our next steps.”
Ifenprodil Pre-Clinical Cough Data
In Algernon’s pre-clinical animal cough study, Ifenprodil showed both a dramatic reduction in cough count and a delay in cough onset when compared to vehicle controls in a well-accepted acute cough in-vivo animal study. Gefapixant, Merck’s lead phase 3 trial drug for chronic cough, was also tested in the study.
Pharmidex, a contract research organization (CRO) and a global leader in respiratory research conducted the in-vivo cough study using the guinea pig citric acid challenge model. Data from this study demonstrated that at clinically relevant doses:
- Ifenprodil (1.5 mg/kg) showed a reduction of 42% in mean cough frequency vs. untreated control (p <0.01).
- Gefapixant (3.5 mg/kg) showed a 20% reduction in mean cough frequency vs. untreated control (p <0.05).
- Ifenprodil (59.8 seconds) showed a statistically significant delay in the onset of the first cough when compared to control (34.2 seconds, p < 0.05). Gefapixant (49.7 seconds) also showed a numerical reduction in cough onset, but the difference was not significant.
- Unlike Gefapixant, Ifenprodil has no known taste disturbance, which is a similar benefit to Bellus Health’s Phase 2 asset BLU-5937.
- The Company previously reported that Ifenprodil was anti-fibrotic in a bleomycin mouse model of IPF, outperforming both Roche’s drug Pirfenidone and Boehringer Ingelheim’s drug Nintedanib.
Ifenprodil is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist specifically targeting the NMDA-type subunit 2B (GluN2B). Ifenprodil prevents glutamate signalling. The NMDA receptor is found on many tissues including lung cells, T-cells, and neutrophils and certain types of cancer cells.
About Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Algernon is a drug re-purposing company that investigates safe, already approved drugs, including naturally occurring compounds, for new disease applications, moving them efficiently and safely into new human trials, developing new formulations and seeking new regulatory approvals in global markets. Algernon specifically investigates compounds that have never been approved in the U.S. or Europe to avoid off label prescription writing.
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CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: No Securities Exchange has reviewed nor accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release. This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to product development, licensing, commercialization and regulatory compliance issues and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expects” and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include the failure to satisfy the conditions of the relevant securities exchange(s) and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulations. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements as expressly required by applicable law.