BEVERLY, Mass., November 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.”
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.