Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. announced that it has commenced enrollment in a phase 3 clinical trial assessing the efficacy and safety of troriluzole in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Biohaven is advancing the 280 mg once daily dose of troriluzole into two double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 clinical trials with identical study designs and plans to enroll approximately 600 patients in each of these adjunctive treatment trials across study sites in both the United States and Europe.
A prior proof of concept study with adjunctive troriluzole in patients with OCD showed a clinically meaningful effect at all study timepoints in patients who had an inadequate response to existing standard of care treatment. Although the study sample size in phase 2 did not demonstrate statistical significance, the data from the previous trial was instrumental in refining and powering the phase 3 studies.
Elyse Stock, M.D., chief medical officer commented, "We look forward to advancing our phase 3 clinical trials of troriluzole 280 mg for the adjunctive treatment of OCD. If approved, this would provide hope to many who suffer with OCD and for whom standard of care medications do not provide adequate relief. No new treatments for OCD have been approved for over two decades. With its novel mechanism of action compared to currently available therapies, troriluzole would provide a significant advance in treatment for the many patients who either do not respond or continue to experience residual symptoms with standard medications."
Troriluzole is a new chemical entity and third-generation glutamate modulating agent that normalizes glutamate, a key neurotransmitter implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder.Biohaven was awarded two US patents covering troriluzole, with international patents pending, all having statutory expiration dates in 2039. The primary mechanism of action of troriluzole is enhancing synaptic glutamate cycling by augmenting the expression and function of excitatory amino acid transporters (i.e., EAAT1-2) located on glial cells that play a key role in clearing glutamate from the synapse. Glutamatergic dysfunction is implicated in the pathophysiology of a broad range of disorders including OCD, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Spinocerebellar Ataxia, Alzheimer's disease, depression, chronic pain, and a variety of cancers. The therapeutic potential of troriluzole is supported by clinical and translational research studies.
Loren Aguiar, M.D., vice president, research and development stated, "We are pleased to initiate our first Phase 3 study to advance the development of troriluzole in OCD. The prior proof-of-concept study provided valuable data for us to adequately power and design the Phase 3 studies. We are excited to begin these new studies as approximately one third of patients with OCD do not respond to currently available medications and new therapies are urgently needed. We believe troriluzole, which normalizes neuronal glutamate, could offer a promising alternative treatment with a new mechanism of action for OCD sufferers who are not adequately responding to currently available treatments."
OCD is a serious psychiatric condition affecting over 2 million individuals in the US and significantly impacts quality of life. It is a chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions). The current standards of care include behavioral therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It is estimated that 20-30% of OCD sufferers derive minimal benefit from current treatment options and continue to experience significant residual symptoms despite currently approved therapies.
Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director, International OCD Foundation added, "There is a significant need for new treatments for those suffering from OCD. We applaud Biohaven for their ongoing research and moving forward with these upcoming trials."
Biohaven is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of innovative, late-stage product candidates targeting neurological diseases, including rare disorders.