- Study unblinded due to strong efficacy signal for 28-day mortality endpoint
- Critically ill patients demonstrated a 68.5% reduction in the risk of dying when treated with EB05 over Standard of Care
- Data monitoring board recommends continuation to confirmatory Phase 3 study
TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / September 20, 2021 / Edesa Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:EDSA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on inflammatory and immune-related diseases, today announced positive results from the Phase 2 part of an ongoing Phase 2/3 clinical study evaluating the company's monoclonal antibody candidate, designated EB05, as a single-dose treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
An independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), composed of subject matter experts, informed the company that during its initial analysis of the Phase 2 portion of the study they identified an important signal between the treatment arms for 28-day mortality, and requested that the study be preemptively unblinded. While the Phase 2 portion was primarily designed to refine patient stratification and statistical powering for the Phase 3 study, the DSMB concluded that "a clinically important efficacy signal" was detected and that the study has "met its objective." The DSMB further recommended continuation of the study into a Phase 3 confirmatory trial.
Among the findings, the DSMB reported a 28-day death rate of 14.3% (2/14) in the EB05 arm versus 36.8% (7/19) in the placebo arm in critically severe patients on ECMO therapy (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). Survival Analysis using Cox's Proportional Hazard Model showed that the patients treated with EB05 plus standard of care had a 68.5% reduction in the risk of dying when compared to placebo plus standard of care at 28 days (HR: 3.17 placebo vs. EB05; 95% CI: 0.66-15.35; p=0.15). The currently available data indicates that greater than 90% of patients received dexamethasone (or other steroids), more than 45% received both tocilizumab and a steroid.
The results from the Phase 2 analysis also suggest that EB05 has been generally well-tolerated and consistent with the observed safety profile to date. In addition, the DSMB identified another patient group with robust signals for mortality reduction at 28 days and the company plans to review this data as well as the full dataset.
Dr. Par Nijhawan, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Edesa Biotech, said that the unblinded Phase 2 data offer compelling preliminary evidence that EB05 can mediate the overactive immune response associated with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, the leading cause of death among COVID-19 patients.
"The strong effect in reducing death in the most critically ill hospitalized patients who have been treated with systemic corticosteroids, including dexamethasone, and IL-6 inhibitors, shows the potential life-saving impact of this drug, irrespective of SARS-CoV-2 variant," he said. "On behalf of Edesa, I'd like to express our continuing gratitude to the patients, their families and healthcare workers participating in the study as well as our partners for helping facilitate the rapid completion of this first leg of the study."
The analysis reviewed data from approximately 360 patients, 24 to 93 years of age, from investigational sites in the United States, Canada and Colombia. Participants were treated with a single intravenous infusion of either EB05 plus standard of care treatment, or placebo plus standard of care (randomized 1:1). The DSMB's initial analysis was limited to the mortality endpoint, and a review of other endpoints is ongoing.
Based on the Phase 2 results and guidance from the DSMB, Edesa plans to focus on patient segments that have demonstrated the strongest efficacy signals and have the greatest potential of rapidly completing enrollment, beginning with critically severe patients. The company intends to file amendments with regulators in the United States, Canada and Colombia to update the Phase 3 protocol and set targeted enrollment. Edesa is also evaluating opportunities to apply for expedited regulatory review programs in the U.S. and Canada.
"With few meaningful treatment options available for hospitalized patients, and clear evidence that the COVID-19 virus is becoming endemic, we are evaluating ways to expedite the next steps in our development and commercialization plans," said Blair Gordon, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development.
EB05 is an experimental monoclonal antibody that Edesa believes could regulate the overactive and dysfunctional immune response associated with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is the leading cause of death in COVID-19 patients. 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. Edesa's study of EB05 in hospitalized COVID-19 patients is being funded in part by a C$14 million grant from the Canadian Government.
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). 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. By targeting sPLA2 with enzyme inhibitors - at the inception of inflammation rather than after inflammation has occurred - Edesa believes that drugs based on this technology could provide a powerful anti-inflammatory therapeutic strategy for treating diverse inflammatory/allergic conditions. The company is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, with a U.S. subsidiary located in Southern California. Sign up for news alerts.
Cautionary Note Regarding Clinical Studies
The company plans to analyze the topline data along with additional information gathered during this study, including safety and other outcome measures. Such analysis may result in additional, different or inconsistent findings to those included in this release. As such, investors should not rely on topline or interim results reported in this release as the final, definitive results of the study.
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 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, including the company's efforts to expedite the next development and regulatory steps. 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, Inc.