|Aerpio Pharmaceuticals Announces Results From TIME-2b Study of AKB-9778 in Diabetic Retinopathy|
TIME-2b Study Did Not Meet the Primary Endpoint of 2-Step Reduction in DRSS Score
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AKB-9778 did show encouraging data in a number of prespecified, key secondary endpoints, consistent with the observations in the prior Phase 2a (TIME-2) trial, including changes in Urine Albumin-Creatinine Ratio (UACR), a measure of kidney function, and in intraocular pressure (IOP). The company plans to advance a topical drop formulation of AKB-9778 into clinical development and expects to initiate a Phase 1b study in the second quarter of 2019 with results anticipated by the end of 2019.
AKB-9778 was found to be safe and well-tolerated in this patient population through 48 weeks of twice-daily dosing. The most common adverse events with higher incidence in the AKB-9778 BID group were dizziness of 10.9% versus 7.0% in the placebo arm, and headache of 10.9% compared to placebo of 3.5%. There was one death in the study, and it was in the placebo group.
“While we are disappointed in the primary endpoint results of this
study, we are nevertheless encouraged by the fact that several other
promising findings observed in our prior 3-month Phase 2a trial have
been prospectively confirmed in this 1-year trial,” said
TIME-2b Study Design
The TIME-2b study was a double-masked, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial designed to evaluate the effect of AKB-9778 in patients with moderate-to-severe NPDR. 167 patients were randomized to receive 48 weeks of treatment with either AKB-9778 15 mg subcutaneously once daily (and placebo subcutaneously once daily), AKB-9778 15 mg subcutaneously twice daily, or placebo subcutaneously twice daily. The primary endpoint of the TIME-2b study was the percentage of patients who improved by two or more steps in DRSS in the study eye. One of the study’s secondary objectives, the urine albumin to creatinine ratio or UACR, was prospectively included based on a post-hoc analysis of this biomarker in the TIME-2 Phase 2a clinical trial of AKB-9778 in diabetic macular edema.
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AKB-9778 is being developed as a subcutaneous injection for the treatment of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and as an eyedrop formulation for the treatment of glaucoma. AKB-9778 binds to and inhibits vascular endothelial protein tyrosine phosphatase (VE-PTP), an important negative regulator of Tie2. Decreased Tie2 activity contributes to vascular instability in many diseases including diabetes. AKB-9778 activates the Tie2 receptor irrespective of extracellular levels of its binding ligands, angiopoietin-1 (agonist) or angiopoietin-2 (antagonist) and may be the most efficient pharmacologic approach to maintain normal Tie2 activation.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Statements in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, the development of the Company’s product candidates, including AKB-9778, the Company’s plans for future development of its product candidates, the potential of the Tie2 pathway in treatment of diabetic complications, and the therapeutic potential of the Company’s product candidates. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to several risk factors. Such factors include, among others, the ability to raise the additional funding needed to continue to develop AKB-9778 or other product development plans, the inherent uncertainties associated with the drug development process, including uncertainties in regulatory interactions, commencing clinical trials and enrollment of patients in clinical trials, competition in the industry in which the Company operates and overall market conditions.
These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press
release, and the Company assumes no obligation to update the
forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results
could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements,
except as required by law. Investors should consult all the information
set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factor disclosure set
forth in the reports and other documents the Company files with the
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