BEVERLY, Mass., Dec. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Innovation Pharmaceuticals, (OTCQB:IPIX) (“the Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, today is pleased to provide an update on the developmental plan for Brilacidin, its first-in-class defensin-mimetic drug candidate, for the prevention and treatment of Oral Mucositis (OM). On December 11, 2017, the Company released topline data from a Phase 2 trial. The study met its primary endpoint of reducing the incidence of severe OM experienced by patients receiving chemoradiation for treatment of Head and Neck Cancer (HNC).
Oral Mucositis is a disease which is largely unfamiliar to the general public, many of whom haven’t witnessed the harsh side effects of OM first hand— namely extreme difficulty swallowing and painful sores in the mouth that can be so intense that cancer treatment must be stopped and a feeding tube inserted. There are currently no approved drugs for the prevention of severe OM in patients receiving chemoradiation treatment of HNC. Moreover, OM is a consequence of therapy for an array of cancers, not just HNC, where the incidence rate is particularly high.
Significant value inflection point for shareholders
Innovation Pharmaceuticals’ Brilacidin is now anchored in OM, representing a value inflection point for shareholders, as further supported by its lead positioning in an untapped $1 Billion market. “Anchored” is an industry term indicating a drug has delivered a meaningful response in a clinical setting for a specific disease along with good apparent safety and toleration. As such, Brilacidin-OM now represents a significant asset to the company. The next steps will be aimed at defining the most appropriate development plan to complete its evaluation prior to submission for marketing approval. This will involve consultation with the FDA and other health authorities worldwide, once full efficacy and safety endpoint data are available from the recent clinical trial.
Towards commercial planning, the Company has begun exploring potential unit dose drug product packaging in the form of a sachet. Sachets, which people are very familiar with and use on an almost daily basis (e.g., sugar packets, artificial sweeteners) increasingly are being developed as a novel means of patient-friendly, drug delivery. Manufacturing plans for drug substance appropriate for late phase testing and eventual market introduction are also underway.
As there are currently no approved drugs for prevention of severe OM in patients receiving chemoradiation treatment of HNC, management opinion is that Brilacidin-OM has the potential to rapidly assume a lead position after market introduction. This perspective is shared by multiple Pharma companies, potential partners the Company currently is in active discussions with, equally interested in the continued development and eventual market introduction of Brilacidin-OM worldwide.
“I am extremely proud that our team has achieved this very important milestone in cancer care and I feel very optimistic for the future. There is an urgent need for a drug such as Brilacidin to help cancer patients facing the threat of OM. We will be pursuing every option available to us toward providing these patients with a new therapeutic option,” commented Leo Ehrlich, Chief Executive Officer at Innovation Pharmaceuticals. “I have spoken with family members of patients dealing with OM and to hear the pain and suffering is simply heart-wrenching. I envision a day where doctors will have a viable option for preventing and treating severe OM and if Brilacidin-OM could be that drug, it would be a considerable accomplishment for the Company, our shareholders and the entire oncology industry.”
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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Innovation Pharmaceutical’s first-in-class immunomodulatory drug candidate, Brilacidin, targets the prevention of severe Oral Mucositis (OM)—a common and debilitating side-effect of receiving chemoradiation therapy—in Head and Neck Cancer. Each year, OM affects hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide. Only a limited number of OM treatments are available, most of which are palliative in nature. A Phase 2 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of Brilacidin-OM (see NCT02324335) has been recently completed in which topline results demonstrate a reduced rate of severe OM (WHO Grade >3) in patients treated with Brilacidin-OM compared to those on placebo.
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 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 the Company more recently launched a Phase 2b study. 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 has recently completed a Phase 2 clinical trial with its novel compound Brilacidin-OM for the prevention of OM in patients with Head and Neck Cancer; topline results demonstrate a 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. The Phase 2b data showed 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”). Results are now available for the completed 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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