VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CSE: AGN) (FRANKFURT: AGW) (OTCQB: AGNPF) (the “Company” or “Algernon”) a clinical stage pharmaceutical development company, is pleased to announce that it has submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. FDA for its planned multinational Phase 2b/3 study of its re-purposed drug NP-120 (Ifenprodil) as a potential therapeutic treatment for patients with COVID-19. Ifenprodil is an NMDA receptor antagonist.
The clinical study for Ifenprodil, 20 mg tablets, is entitled, “A Randomized Open Label Phase 2b/3 Study of the Safety and Efficacy of NP-120 (Ifenprodil) for the Treatment of Confirmed COVID-19 Infected Hospitalized Patients.” As part of the multinational Phase 2b/3 COVID-19 clinical study, Algernon has already received clearance in Canada and has also filed for ethics approval in Australia.
“We have already started communicating with a number of U.S. based research institutions in advance, to make sure that we can move quickly with the U.S. part of the clinical trial, if approved,” said Christopher J. Moreau, CEO of Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. “We have identified strong interest to participate in the study and we look forward to starting the trial as soon as possible.”
The Company cautions that while it is preparing to begin Phase 2 clinical trials shortly, it is not making any express or implied claims that Ifenprodil is an effective treatment for acute lung injury (ALI), the COVID-19 virus, or any other medical condition at this time.
Phase 2b/3 Study Summary:
Once local ethics approvals have been received, the trial will begin as a Phase 2b study of an aggregate of 100 patients and with positive preliminary data, the clinical trial will move directly from a Phase 2b into a Phase 3 trial. The data will determine the number of expected patients needed to reach statistical significance in the Phase 3 trial.
Patients will be randomized in a one-to-one manner and will either be treated using an existing standard of care, or standard of care plus a 20mg dose of Ifenprodil taken three times a day for two weeks.
Over the testing period, doctors will observe whether there is an improvement in a number of secondary endpoints, including mortality, blood oxygen levels, time spent in intensive care and time to mechanical ventilation.
About NP-120 (Ifenprodil)
NP-120 (Ifenprodil) is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist specifically targeting the NMDA-type subunit 2B (Glu2NB). Ifenprodil prevents glutamate signalling. The NMDA receptor is found on many tissues including lung cells and T-cells, neutrophils.
The Company believes NP-120 can reduce the infiltration of neutrophils and T-cells into the lungs where they can release glutamate and cytokines respectively. The latter can result in the highly problematic cytokine storm that contributes to the loss of lung function and ultimately death as has been reported in COVID-19 infected patients.
About Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Algernon is a drug re-purposing company that investigates safe, already approved drugs for new disease applications, moving them efficiently and safely into new human trials, developing new formulations and seeking new regulatory approvals in global markets. Algernon specifically investigates compounds that have never been approved in the U.S. or Europe to avoid off label prescription writing.
Algernon has filed new intellectual property rights globally for NP-120 (Ifenprodil) for the treatment of respiratory diseases and is working to develop a proprietary injectable and slow release formulation.
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CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: No Securities Exchange has reviewed nor accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release. This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to product development, licensing, commercialization and regulatory compliance issues and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expects” and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include the failure to satisfy the conditions of the relevant securities exchange(s) and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulations. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements as expressly required by applicable law.