TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / March 15, 2021 / Edesa Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:EDSA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on inflammatory and immune-related diseases, today announced that it has completed enrollment of more than 50% of the patients planned for the Phase 2 portion of its ongoing Phase 2/Phase 3 clinical study evaluating the company's EB05 drug candidate as a single-dose treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients with or at risk of developing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) - the leading cause of death in COVID-19 patients.
The company reported that more than 160 of the expected 316 subjects in the Phase 2 portion of the study have been randomized and dosed with either EB05 or placebo. The patients were treated at hospital sites across Canada, the United States and Colombia. In preparation for the potential Phase 3 portion of the study, the company plans to activate approximately 20 additional hospital sites in the next two months.
Dr. Par Nijhawan, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Edesa, said that the pace of enrollment has exceeded the company's expectations. "We have passed the halfway mark for the Phase 2 portion of the study and are now one step closer to providing a new, potentially more effective treatment option for patients facing some of the worst effects of the SARS-CoV2 infection. We are grateful to the patients, physicians and caregivers for enabling us to reach this important milestone."
Dr. Nijhawan reported that the company plans to continue adding hospital sites to speed enrollment and to provide broad access to a promising experimental therapy. "ARDS represents a serious unmet medical need; even prior to COVID-19, ARDS accounted for 10% of ICU admissions. If the pandemic becomes endemic, as many believe, the need for an effective treatment will be even more pressing," he said.
As designed, the international study is an adaptive, double-blind study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of EB05 in adult hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Should the experimental antibody treatment demonstrate promising results at the Phase 2 readout, the company plans to continue with a pivotal Phase 3 study.
EB05 is an experimental monoclonal antibody that Edesa believes could regulate the overactive and dysfunctional immune response associated with ARDS. Specifically, the drug inhibits toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling - an important mediator of inflammation responsible for acute lung injury that has been shown to be activated by SARS-CoV2, SARS-CoV1 and Influenza viruses. The goal of the experimental treatment is to suppress inflammation, fluid accumulation and lung injury, thereby reducing the number of patients admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICU) and intubation/ventilation procedures, and ultimately saving lives.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome is the leading cause of death in COVID-19 patients. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 20% to 42% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients develop ARDS, which increases to 67% to 85% for patients admitted to the ICU. Mortality among patients admitted to the ICU ranges from 39% to 72% depending on the study and characteristics of patient population, according to the CDC. ARDS involves an exaggerated immune response leading to inflammation and injury to the lungs that results in edema that deprives the body of oxygen. For moderate to severe cases, there are currently few meaningful treatments, other than supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation, and patients suffer high mortality rates. In addition to virus-induced pneumonia, ARDS can be caused by smoke/chemical inhalation, sepsis, chest injury and other causes. Prior to COVID-19, ARDS accounted for 10% of intensive care unit admissions, representing more than 3 million patients globally each year.
About Edesa Biotech, Inc.
Edesa Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq:EDSA) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative treatments for inflammatory and immune-related diseases with clear unmet medical needs. The company's two lead product candidates, EB05 and EB01, are in later stage clinical studies. EB05 is a monoclonal antibody therapy that we are developing as a treatment for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients. ARDS is a life-threatening form of respiratory failure, and the leading cause of death among COVID-19 patients. Edesa is also developing an sPLA2 inhibitor, designated as EB01, as a topical treatment for chronic allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), a common, potentially debilitating condition and occupational illness. EB01 employs a novel, non-steroidal mechanism of action and in two clinical studies has demonstrated statistically significant improvement of multiple symptoms in ACD patients. The company is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, with a U.S. subsidiary located in Southern California. Sign up for news alerts.
Edesa Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should," "might," "potential," or "continue" and variations or similar expressions, including statements related to: the company's plans to add hospital sites to speed enrollment, the company's belief that EB05 could regulate the overactive immune response associated with ARDS, the company's belief that EB05 could modulate the TLR4 signaling pathway for the benefit of patients, and the company's timing and plans regarding its Phase 2/3 study. Readers should not unduly rely on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future performance. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as all such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results or future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Such risks include: the ability of Edesa to obtain regulatory approval for or successfully commercialize any of its product candidates, the risk that access to sufficient capital to fund Edesa's operations may not be available or may be available on terms that are not commercially favorable to Edesa, the risk that Edesa's product candidates may not be effective against the diseases tested in its clinical trials, the risk that Edesa fails to comply with the terms of license agreements with third parties and as a result loses the right to use key intellectual property in its business, Edesa's ability to protect its intellectual property, the timing and success of submission, acceptance and approval of regulatory filings, and the impacts of public health crises, such as COVID-19. Many of these factors that will determine actual results are beyond the company's ability to control or predict. For a discussion of further risks and uncertainties related to Edesa's business, please refer to Edesa's public company reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the British Columbia Securities Commission. All forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and are subject to change. Except as required by law, Edesa assumes no obligation to update such statements.
Edesa Biotech, Inc.
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SOURCE: Edesa Biotech