Herantis Pharma Plc
Company release, insider information 25 February 2020 at 9:00 AM Eastern European Time
Herantis Pharma Plc (“Herantis” or “Company”) announced today the topline results from the ongoing Phase 1-2 clinical trial examining Herantis’ proprietary neuroprotective factor and novel drug candidate, CDNF, in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Herantis is developing CDNF as a disease-modifying treatment with the objective of introducing a significant breakthrough to current standard-of-care therapies for Parkinson’s disease. As a novel neuroprotective and neurorestorative factor, CDNF acts on several mechanisms relevant to Parkinson’s disease and has been shown to protect neurons from degeneration and to restore the function of already degenerating neurons in preclinical studies.
The first part of the Phase 1-2 study, in which patients first received a surgically implanted dose delivery system provided by Renishaw plc, and then repeated and increased CDNF or placebo dosing for 6 months, met its primary endpoint of safety and tolerability. The recorded Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) were considered unlikely by the treating physicians to be related to CDNF and the affected patients fully recovered. Certain SAEs were considered to be probably related to device surgery and the drug administration process. The surgical and infusion procedures were improved to avoid any such incidents in the future.
The secondary and exploratory endpoints of the study evaluate initial signs of efficacy, including assessments based on the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), dopamine transporter PET imaging, actigraphy measurements and alpha-synuclein levels. At this early stage of data review, the Company observed promising signals in some patients, for instance in dopamine transporter PET imaging, which is an indirect measure of the dopaminergic function. As the trial is a first-in-human study involving a small number of patients at an advanced disease stage, this is an encouraging initial outcome. The Company will continue to assess the results through the extension part of the study which will last six months.
All patients who completed the first part of the trial volunteered to participate in the extension study in which every patient, including those previously randomly assigned to the placebo group, will receive one of the two dose levels of CDNF on a monthly basis. Herantis expects to announce the next set of results, including details on the exploratory endpoints, in Q3/2020.
“This first set of topline data provides a solid basis for the next part of the study and confirms the positive safety and tolerability profile of CDNF,” commented Pekka Simula, CEO of Herantis. “Building on the established safety profile and encouraging observations, we have initiated the planning for a Phase 2 study with a longer treatment period that will assess the efficacy of CDNF in earlier-stage, well-characterized Parkinson’s patients. We currently expect to initiate patient enrolment in 2021. We extend our thanks to the clinical study sites and the patients who contributed to the advancement of this very important and challenging trial.”
The Company will hold a webcast to discuss the results and take questions in a live forum on 28 February 2020 at 10:00 AM CET. To submit questions prior to the start of the webcast, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. To participate, please register beforehand for “CDNF webinar Feb 2020” on the website https://www.gotostage.com/channel/herantis.
The randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 1-2 trial is a first-in-human study that evaluates the safety and tolerability of CDNF, a novel experimental therapy, in a total of 17 patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease. In the main study, the patients received an implant of the Renishaw plc investigational drug delivery system. The patients were then randomized to receive either six monthly doses of placebo, or six increasing doses of CDNF, in a blinded manner. All patients who completed the main study volunteered to continue in an extension study, in which all patients, including those who previously received placebo doses, receive either lower or higher CDNF doses for another six months. After the extension study, which is expected to be completed in Q2/2020, the Phase 1-2 trial continues with a long-term follow-up study.
The primary endpoints of the study will evaluate safety and tolerability of CDNF as well as of the drug delivery device, and accuracy of surgical placement of the device in the study patients. Secondary and exploratory endpoints include initial signs of efficacy of CDNF treatment, e.g. Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), motor score evaluation, patient diary, dopamine transporter PET imaging, and the levels of different forms of alpha synuclein in serum and CSF.
Herantis Pharma Plc, Pekka Simula, CEO, +358 40 7300 445
Company web site: www.herantis.com
Certified Advisor: UB Securities Ltd, Finland: +358 9 25 380 225, Sweden: +46 72 888 43 83
CDNF is a novel neuroprotective and neurorestorative factor highly distinct from conventional neurotrophic factors. An innovative drug candidate for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, CDNF, is patented internationally by Herantis. Supported by a strong preclinical proof-of-concept Herantis launched a first-in-human, randomized Phase 1-2 clinical study with CDNF in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). The clinical study has received funding from the European Union's research and innovation program Horizon 2020 under the grant agreement number 732386.
CDNF has been safe in preclinical studies and in the completed parts of the ongoing Phase 1-2 clinical study. In disease models, CDNF has protected and regenerated dopamine-generating cells in the midbrain suggesting potential for disease modification of PD. It has also shown efficacy in non-motor symptoms of PD.
About Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a slowly progressing, incurable neurodegenerative disease caused by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. Common first symptoms of the disease include tremors, rigidity, and slowness of movement. While the motor symptoms can be treated with medication, the progression of the disease cannot be prevented. The benefits of medication may be lost with disease progression or their side effects can become unmanageable. The progressing disease is also associated with non-motor symptoms such as sleep problems, depression, and anxiety, which are not alleviated by current Parkinson's drugs. It is estimated that 7-10 million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson's disease.
About Herantis Pharma Plc
Herantis Pharma Plc is an innovative drug development company breaking the boundaries of standard therapeutic approaches. Our regenerative medicine drug candidates, CDNF and Lymfactin®, aim to revolutionize the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, and of secondary lymphedema. The shares of Herantis are listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Finland and Nasdaq First North Growth Market Sweden.