BEVERLY, MA – Dec. 7, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) Cellceutix Corporation, (OTCQB: CTIX) (“the Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies with dermatology, oncology, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic applications, is pleased to announce today initiation of the second cohort of patients treated with Brilacidin for Ulcerative Proctitis/Ulcerative Proctosigmoiditis (UP/UPS), two types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Review of safety data from the first cohort revealed that Brilacidin, administered for 6 weeks as a retention enema, at 50 mg once daily, appeared well-tolerated, with no measurable systemic absorption detected. This drug profile, at the lowest dose, allowed the approval of dose escalation to the second cohort (100 mg, once daily). Clinically meaningful improvements in symptoms of UP/UPS were also demonstrated in the first cohort, as measured by physician assessments and patient reported outcomes, further supported with endoscopic evaluation of disease activity.
The ongoing Phase 2, open-label, proof-of-concept clinical trial is evaluating Brilacidin for induction of remission, not merely maintenance, in patients suffering from mild-to-moderate UP/UPS. The trial comprises three sequential cohorts (6 patients per cohort), with progressive dose escalation by cohort—50 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg Brilacidin, respectively. Treatment with Brilacidin by daily enema administration is performed consecutively for 42 days.
“We remain extremely encouraged by the results that continue to emerge from this trial. In addition, the clinical sites at which the study is being performed are now even more enthusiastic about recruiting additional patients to the trial. Such enthusiasm is a good indicator of Brilacidin’s potential in treating ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases. We look forward to seeing data from the next cohorts,” said Arthur P. Bertolino, MD, PhD, MBA, Cellceutix President and Chief Medical Officer.
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Brilacidin is Cellceutix’s 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, Cellceutix 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: 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 Infections (ABSSSI)—qualifying it for Fast Track and possible Priority FDA Review and an extra 5 years of United States market exclusivity upon drug approval.
Ulcerative proctitis (UP), a limited type of ulcerative colitis (UC), is a mucosal inflammatory disease of unknown cause involving only the rectum. When it involves both the rectum and the distal colon, it is called Ulcerative Proctosigmoiditis (UPS). It is characterized by inflammation, redness, and ulcerations of the mucosa. The course of the disease is variable and ranges from complete resolution to easily maintained remission to chronic relapses or refractory disease. Diagnosis can occur at any point in life, with approximately 30-50 percent of patients developing more extensive UC. There is currently no cure. According to estimates provided by GlobalData, the worldwide UC market, which includes products for UP/UPS, is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 4.7 percent, from $4.2 billion in 2012 to approximately $6.6 billion by 2022.
About Cellceutix’s Proof-of-Concept (PoC) UP/UPS Trial Design
This trial is being conducted in an overseas hospital/clinic setting with Brilacidin being administered with water in an enema. A foam formulation of Brilacidin for use in future studies is planned and would be expected to improve patient convenience and study results. The primary objective of Cellceutix’s Proof-of-Concept (PoC) trial is to assess the frequency of clinical remission (defined using Modified Mayo Disease Activity Index [MMDAI] scoring) with Brilacidin administered per rectum by enema in patients with active UP or UPS after 6 weeks of treatment. Additional objectives include: evaluation of safety and tolerability of Brilacidin when administered per rectum; assessment of systemic exposure and/or pharmacokinetics of Brilacidin when administered per rectum; assessment of the efficacy of Brilacidin by change in MMDAI at Day 42/Week 6 and Partial MMDAI during treatment and by biomarker evaluation (from serum, feces, and rectum/sigmoid biopsy samples); evaluation of change in patient-reported quality of life (by the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire); and estimation of statistical power for subsequent trial(s) in UP and UPS. The PoC trial will include 18 patients divided evenly into three cohorts. Cohort A has received 50 milligrams (mg) of Brilacidin once daily administered per rectum as a retention enema for 42 days. Dosing increases to 100 mg and 200 mg once daily for 42 days for Cohort B and Cohort C, respectively. Endoscopic evaluation of the rectum and mucosa up to 40 cm from the anal verge will be performed at screening and at the end of treatment/Day 42 (± 3 days). Per protocol, a safety committee will review safety and retention data (clinical laboratory findings, physical examination findings, vital signs, adverse events, use of concomitant medications, retention times) after 21 days of therapy for all six patients in each cohort before proceeding with initiating enrollment (dosing) into the subsequent cohort.