ThromboGenics NV (Euronext Brussels: THR), a biotechnology company developing novel treatments for diabetic eye disease, today issues a business update for the three months period ending 31 March 2017.
ThromboGenics is focused on developing novel medicines for diabetic eye disease, particularly diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
Over the last three years, ThromboGenics has developed an attractive pipeline of disease modifying drug candidates. The pipeline consists of THR-409, THR-317, both from its in-house research, as well as THR-149 which resulted from a research collaboration with Bicycle Therapeutics, and THR-687, which was in-licensed from Galapagos NV.
These products all have different modes of action and allow the Company to address the four key segments of the evolving diabetic eye disease market:
ThromboGenics believes its diabetic eye disease pipeline is one of the strongest in the industry.
Dr. Patrik De Haes, ThromboGenics' CEO, said: "We are making good progress with our exciting drug development pipeline of potential new disease modifying medicines for the treatment of diabetic eye disease. Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) are significant indications where there are clear unmet medical needs and a strong demand for improved or add-on treatment options. With our ambitious pipeline and current cash resources we believe we are well positioned to address all key segments of the diabetic eye disease market and to generate attractive returns for our shareholders."
Research & Development Activities - Innovative Pipeline Targeting Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)
ThromboGenics pipeline comprises of:
THR-317 - anti PIGF antibody to treat DME
ThromboGenics enrolled the first patients in a Phase II, single-masked, multicenter exploratory study evaluating the safety and efficacy of 2 dose levels of THR-317 for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) in January 2017.
THR-317 (anti-PIGF) is a recombinant human monoclonal antibody directed against the receptor-binding site of human placental growth factor (PlGF).
The Phase II study will evaluate the safety of 3 intravitreal injections of 2 dose levels of THR-317 (4 mg or 8 mg). The trial will also assess THR-317's ability to improve best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and to reduce central retinal thickness in subjects with DME.
The study plans to enroll a total of 50 patients (including 10 anti-VEGF treatment resistant patients) over a period of about 12 months. The first results from the study are expected in H1 2018.
ThromboGenics believes that THR-317 could be used as a stand-alone therapy or as an add-on treatment to anti-VEGF medicines, for the treatment of DME or DR.
At the ARVO meeting's Diabetic Retinopathy session a presentation on THR-317, entitled "Neutralization of placental growth factor as a novel treatment option in diabetic retinopathy", took place.
THR-409 for Non Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy - CIRCLE Study
The CIRCLE study is evaluating the ability of multiple doses of THR-409 (ocriplasmin) to induce a total posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) in patients with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). The study is also assessing the safety of multiple doses of THR-409.
ThromboGenics aims to reduce the risk of disease progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) by inducing a total PVD using THR-409.
Research has suggested that total PVD, a complete separation of vitreous and retina, could prevent the progression of NPDR to PDR. The CIRCLE study is a Phase II, randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled, multi-center study that will evaluate the efficacy and safety of up to 3 intravitreal injections of either 0.125mg or 0.0625mg of THR-409 in subjects with moderate to severe NPDR, to induce total PVD in order to reduce the risk of the patient developing sight-threatening PDR.
In December the protocol of the CIRCLE study was amended to allow the trial to recruit from a broader pool of patients. Patient's recruitment has picked up following this protocol amendment.
The primary endpoint of the CIRCLE study is the percentage of patients with total PVD by the month 3 visit, confirmed by both B-scan ultrasound and SD-OCT.
Furthermore, 2 year follow up of patients may provide insights into THR-409's potential to reduce the risk of progressing from NPDR to PDR.
Oncurious NV - Developing TB-403 for Pediatric Brain Cancers
Oncurious is developing TB-403 a humanized monoclonal antibody against placental growth factor (PlGF). PlGF is expressed in several types of cancer, including medulloblastoma. High expression of the PlGF receptor neuropilin 1 has been shown to correlate with poor overall survival.
Medulloblastoma is the most common pediatric malignant brain tumor, accounting for 20% of all brain tumors in children. Treatment with TB-403 in relevant animal models for medulloblastoma has demonstrated beneficial effects on tumor growth and survival.
In May 2016, a Phase I/IIa study was initiated with TB-403. The study, which is being conducted by NMTRC, aims to recruit 27 patients with Relapsed or Refractory Medulloblastoma. Patient recruitment is on-going.
The European Commission confirmed the orphan drug designation for TB-403 for medulloblastoma in January 2017. The confirmation by the EC followed an earlier in-depth review and positive opinion on the drug candidate by the EMA Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP). The orphan designation allows a pharmaceutical company to benefit from incentives from the European Union to develop a medicine for a rare disease, such as reduced fees and protection from competition once the medicine is placed on the market.
BioInvent International is a co-development partner for this clinical program.
Ocriplasmin Research Findings Presented at ARVO 2017
New JETREA® research findings were presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2017 annual meeting in Baltimore this week.
11 ocriplasmin-related presentations, abstracts and posters were delivered at ARVO. These covered preclinical research findings, real-world clinical data, and further characterization of results from different studies.
A presentation on ORBIT, a Phase IV Clinical Study - Efficacy and Safety Outcomes showed the importance of patient selection, with 45.8% of patients seeing VMA/VMT resolution at month 1 post injection. This compares very favorably with the 26.5% resolution rate seen in the MIVI-TRUST Phase III study. The ORBIT study has identified no new safety signals.
The posters and abstracts confirmed the product's safety profile as described in the approved product label and highlighted the importance of patient selection and the timing of the ocriplasmin injection as crucial for treatment success.
Since its first introduction in early 2013, over 25,000 patients have received a treatment with JETREA®.
Cash and investments were €73.3 million as of the end of March 2017, compared with €80.1 million at the end of December 2016.