BEVERLY, Mass., Nov. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB:IPIX) (“the Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, is pleased to provide additional perspectives on the planned continued development of Brilacidin-OM for the prevention and treatment of Oral Mucositis (OM) in Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) patients.
As previously announced, the Phase 2 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of Brilacidin-OM (see NCT02324335), enrolling a total of 61 patients, recently was completed, with top-line analysis to be reported shortly.
After unblinding, should final study results compare favorably to those observed at interim, in which patients treated with Brilacidin-OM showed a markedly reduced rate of severe OM (WHO Grade ≥3) compared to those on placebo, the Company will initiate an aggressive development plan going forward, including: applying to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Breakthrough Therapy Designation and possibly applying for a similar expedited path in Europe; enhancing oral rinse administration with patient-friendly formulation and packaging; and, dedicating internal resources to Phase 3 trial design planning and execution.
Formal collaboration with pharmaceutical companies that have expressed an interest in partnering Brilacidin-OM may well assist further with expediting the drug candidate’s development timetable. Some of these partnering conversations have matured to the point of potentially structuring mutually beneficial licensing agreements, pending the final Phase 2 study results.
“We very much look forward to taking what could be the final step in Brilacidin’s development for the prevention of OM—top-line results reporting followed by possible advancement into a pivotal Phase 3 trial,” said Leo Ehrlich, Chief Executive Officer at Innovation Pharmaceuticals. “The OM market comprises a huge unmet medical need. To think we might one day help end the pain of so many patients suffering from OM, better enabling them to get the critical cancer care they need, would be an incredible accomplishment for Innovation Pharmaceuticals’ staff and a proud moment for our shareholders. Furthermore, securing partnerships with Pharma would represent a significant milestone for the Company, further anchoring the rapidly expanding Brilacidin Franchise.”
“What’s important to understand about Brilacidin-OM, at this stage of its development, is that it truly represents a potential breakthrough treatment in OM,” commented Arthur P. Bertolino, MD, PhD, MBA, President and Chief Medical Officer at Innovation Pharmaceuticals. “A majority of OM treatments currently being evaluated in clinical trials still target reduction in duration of OM symptoms, rather than going after OM prevention—what we’ve established as our primary efficacy outcome in the completed Phase 2 trial. We’ve set for ourselves a high bar, to be sure, but feel confident that if we deliver strong top-line results, Brilacidin-OM will stand apart from any future competition—a potential first-to-market and best-in-class OM treatment.”
Brilacidin is Innovation Pharmaceuticals’ lead drug candidate in its defensin mimetic franchise. Modeled after Host Defense Proteins (HDPs), the “front-line” of defense in the immune system, it is a small, non-peptidic, synthetic molecule that kills pathogens swiftly and thoroughly. Just as importantly, Brilacidin also functions in a robust immunomodulatory capacity, lessening inflammation and promoting healing. Due to its unique properties, the Company is studying Brilacidin’s effect on Oral Mucositis (under Fast Track designation) and on Ulcerative Proctitis / Proctosigmoiditis (UP/UPS) in Phase 2 trials. Additional trials of Brilacidin are planned in other conditions, including: Atopic Dermatitis, Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Acne. Brilacidin is also being developed under FDA’s Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) designation as an antibacterial product for Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infection (ABSSSI)—qualifying it for Fast Track and possible Priority FDA Review and an extra 5 years of United States market exclusivity upon drug approval.
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About Oral Mucositis
Oral Mucositis (OM) is a frequent, painful and debilitating complication of chemoradiation. Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) patients—comprising an estimated 65,000 newly diagnosed cases in the U.S. alone in 2017, and an estimated 700,000 worldwide (source: GLOBOCAN)—are at the greatest risk of developing OM (a 90 to 100 percent rate of occurrence). By 2030, the global incidence of HNC cases is expected to exceed 1 million per year. Moreover, between 25 and 60 percent of cancer patients, regardless of cancer type, also will experience OM. Characterized by inflammation and ulceration, patients suffering from OM are often unable to speak and eat (requiring the insertion of a feeding tube) and are more susceptible to infections, with severe cases leading to hospitalization at increased treatment costs of up to $25,000. There currently are no approved medications for the prevention of OM in the HNC population, with only limited palliative care options available. Worldwide, the potential market for OM is expected to exceed $1 billion in the next few years.
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About the Company
Headquartered in Beverly, Massachusetts, Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IPI), formerly Cellceutix Corporation, is publicly-traded under the company symbol “IPIX”. The Company is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies in multiple diseases. The Company believes it has a world-class portfolio of first-in-class lead drug candidates and is now advancing them toward market approval, while actively seeking strategic partnerships. The Company’s Psoriasis drug candidate Prurisol completed a Phase 2 trial and a Phase 2b study is ongoing. Prurisol is a small molecule that acts through immune modulation and PRINS reduction. The Company’s anti-cancer drug Kevetrin successfully concluded a Phase 1 clinical trial at Harvard Cancer Centers’ Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Company has commenced a Phase 2 study in Ovarian Cancer. In the laboratory, Kevetrin has been shown to modulate p53, often referred to as the “Guardian Angel Gene” due to its crucial role in controlling cell mutations. Brilacidin, a defensin mimetic compound, has shown in an animal model to reduce the occurrence of severe ulcerative Oral Mucositis (OM) by more than 94% compared to placebo. The Company is in a Phase 2 clinical trial with its novel compound Brilacidin-OM for the prevention of OM in patients with Head and Neck Cancer; interim results have shown a marked reduction in the incidence of severe OM (WHO Grade ≥ 3). The Company’s lead antibiotic, Brilacidin, has completed a Phase 2b trial for Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infection, or ABSSSI. Top-line data have shown a single dose of Brilacidin to deliver comparable clinical outcomes to the FDA-approved seven-day dosing regimen of daptomycin. Brilacidin has the potential to be a single-dose therapy for certain multi-drug resistant bacteria (“superbugs”). Topline results are now available for the Phase 2, open label Proof-of-Concept trial, treating patients with Brilacidin for Ulcerative Proctitis/Ulcerative Proctosigmoiditis (UP/UPS), two types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The Company has formed research collaborations with world-renowned research institutions in the United States and Europe, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the University of Bologna. More information is available on the Company website at www.IPharmInc.com.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements concerning projected timelines for the initiation and completion of clinical trials, our future drug development plans, other statements regarding future product developments, including with respect to specific indications, and any other statements which are other than statements of historical fact. These statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause the Company’s actual results and experience to differ materially from anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. The Company has in some cases identified forward-looking statements by using words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “hopes,” “estimates,” “looks,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “goal,” “potential,” “may,” “suggest,” and similar expressions. Among other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements are the Company’s need for, and the availability of, substantial capital in the future to fund its operations and research and development; including the amount and timing of the sale of shares of common stock to Aspire Capital; the fact that the Company’s compounds may not successfully complete pre-clinical or clinical testing, or be granted regulatory approval to be sold and marketed in the United States or elsewhere. A more complete description of these risk factors is included in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly the results of any revisions to any such forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by applicable law or regulation.
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