Innovation Pharmaceuticals Reports Positive Topline Results from Phase 2 Placebo-Controlled Trial of Brilacidin for the Prevention of Oral Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Company Targets a Therapeutic Leadership Position in Global OM Market

BEVERLY, MA – December 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) Innovation Pharmaceuticals, (OTCQB:IPIX) (“the Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, today presented successful topline results from the Company's randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 2 clinical trial of Brilacidin (see NCT02324335) for the prevention and control of Oral Mucositis (OM) in patients receiving chemoradiation for treatment of Head and Neck Cancer. Brilacidin-OM is being developed under an FDA Fast Track designation for this indication.

Summary of Topline Results from the Placebo-Controlled Phase 2 Trial

· Brilacidin met primary endpoint of reduced incidence of severe OM experienced by patients during radiation therapy.
· Incidence of severe OM in Modified Intent to Treat (mITT) Population: Brilacidin 42.9%, Placebo 60.0%. 
· Incidence of severe OM in Per Protocol (PP) Population: Brilacidin 36.8%, Placebo 60.0%.
· Trial results support continued and expedited development of Brilacidin-OM.

Clinical Trial Background

In this trial, Head and Neck Cancer patients self-administered Brilacidin (45 mg/15 ml oral rinse—“swish and spit”) or placebo three times daily across 7 consecutive weeks (49 days). Of the 61 patients randomized, 46 patients met the cumulative radiation dose criteria of at least 55 Gy—the minimum treatment threshold for inclusion in the efficacy population—and 39 of these patients met more strict criteria for inclusion in the “per protocol” study population. The trial’s primary endpoint was established as reduced incidence of severe OM (defined as Grade ≥ 3 on the WHO Oral Mucositis scale) experienced by patients during radiation therapy.

Topline results reveal a clear reduction in the incidence of severe OM (WHO Grade ≥ 3) in patients treated with Brilacidin-OM as compared to those on placebo. Brilacidin also appeared generally safe and well-tolerated across all treated patients (the safety population).

Primary Efficacy Results: Incidence of severe OM (WHO Grade ≥ 3)

    Active (Brilacidin)                              Control (Placebo)

Modified Intent to Treat         9 of 21 patients (42.9 %)                   15 of 25 patients (60.0%)
(mITT) Population (n=46)
Per Protocol
(PP) Population (n=39)          7 of 19 patients (36.8%)                     12 of 20 patients (60.0%)

Overall reduction in observed severe Oral Mucositis (WHO Grade ≥ 3) in the Brilacidin-OM treatment group from that seen in the control group ([incidence control - incidence active]/incidence control) was: 28.5% (mITT population) and 38.7% (PP population).

Safety and Tolerability Profile

Brilacidin administered as an oral rinse was generally well-tolerated by patients. Safety findings were typical for patients with Head and Neck Cancer being treated with chemoradiation, with all treated patients reporting at least one Treatment-Emergent Adverse Event (TEAE). Of the TEAEs categorized as serious (SAEs), 13 patients (8 in the Brilacidin group, and 5 in the Placebo group) experienced at least one SAE. No SAEs reported led to death. None of the SAEs were classified by the Investigator as related to Brilacidin.

Management Comments

Additional study endpoint analyses are ongoing, with outputs expected in the coming weeks.  These endpoints are important in building a deeper knowledge base around Brilacidin-OM, further informing other aspects of efficacy and helping to plan the next stage of clinical development.

“The completion of the Phase 2 trial of Brilacidin-OM is a major milestone for the Company, particularly given the successful topline study results. In a broader context, these mid-phase study results represent a watershed moment in the management of OM, as there has been negligible prior innovation in safely mitigating the onset of the severest stages of the disease,” commented Leo Ehrlich, Chief Executive Officer at Innovation Pharmaceuticals. “We believe that we now occupy a leadership position with this drug candidate in the prevention and treatment of severe OM in Head and Neck Cancer patients. Considering the global unmet medical need in treating severe OM, we anticipate leveraging these promising data, both in securing potential partnership opportunities and establishing an early competitive market position. In combination with other promising clinical data on Brilacidin, we are building a strong case that our novel defensin-mimetic pipeline can safely address an array of diseases and conditions by showing meaningful clinical responses. We now look forward to discussing our plans with the FDA to best align and prepare for the expedient advancement of the Brilacidin-OM program.”

“Based on these data, we are confident Brilacidin-OM has potential to improve significantly the treatment paradigm for OM,” said Arthur P. Bertolino, MD, PhD, MBA, President and Chief Medical Officer at Innovation Pharmaceuticals. “To see a clear beneficial clinical response is what clinicians hope for—a viable drug candidate bettering the lives of patients in dire need of newer treatment options. Further, today’s news is added validation of the Brilacidin Franchise, now anchored in three distinct clinical indications—OM, inflammatory bowel disease and serious skin infections. Brilacidin is an extremely unique drug candidate that we look forward to continuing to explore and advance across its many therapeutic applications.”

About Brilacidin

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 Brilacidin-OM

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.