Algernon Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage pharmaceutical development company, announced that it has begun screening patients for suitability for enrolment in its phase 2 idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic cough clinical study of its re-purposed drug NP-120 (Ifenprodil). Ifenprodil is an NMDA receptor antagonist specifically targeting the NMDA-type subunit 2B.
There are 5 sites in total participating in the study with 3 located in Australia and 2 in New Zealand. All 5 sites have now received ethics approval and all have successfully completed their site initiation.
The Company originally decided to investigate Ifenprodil for both IPF and chronic cough after conducting several animal studies that showed the drug’s superior activity when compared with current standard of care treatments and a leading phase 3 drugs.
Ifenprodil showed superiority in reducing fibrosis over two globally approved therapies for IPF, Roche’s Pirfenidone and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Nintedanib, in a well-established in vivo animal model study.
Data from this study showed a 56.0% reduction in fibrosis vs untreated controls (p=0.015) in a 21-day bleomycin mouse model (treatment began on Day 7).
Ifenprodil outperformed Merck’s phase 3 Drug MK-7264 (Gefapixant) in an Acute Cough Study by 110%, in a well-accepted acute cough in-vivo animal study. Pharmidex, a contract research organization (CRO) and a global leader in respiratory research conducted the cough study using the guinea pig citric acid challenge model. It should also be noted that unlike Gefapixant, Ifenprodil has no known taste disturbance.
“There has been a significant amount of news flow recently related to our Ifenprodil COVID clinical trial program,” said Christopher J. Moreau, CEO of Algernon Pharmaceuticals. “However, while this is still an important focus for the company, this is a very appropriate time to remind our shareholders that Ifenprodil was initially selected for advancement into a human clinical trial based on its strong animal data for IPF and chronic cough. These are also important areas with significant unmet clinical needs. We look forward to updating the market when our first patient has been enrolled”.
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