|[December 11, 2013]
Ario Pharma Ltd Founded to Develop Novel Therapeutics for Respiratory Indications
CAMBRIDGE, England --(Business Wire)--
Ario Pharma Ltd, a new biopharmaceutical company, has been founded to
develop innovative new approaches to treat respiratory disease. Based in
Cambridge, UK, Ario Pharma is a spin out from Xention Pharma Ltd, a
specialist ion channel R&D company. Ario Pharma announced today that it
has successfully raised £1.9 million ($3.1 million) from an
international syndicate of New Science Ventures, Forbion Capital
Partners and Seroba Kernel Life Sciences. The funding will be used to
execute two separate Phase 2 trials for the Company's lead product,
XEN-D0501, in chronic idiopathic cough and cough associated with chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). XEN-D0501 is a potential best in
class, orally bioavailable inhibitor of TRPV1.
Ario Pharma expects to commence the Phase 2 trials in Q1 2014. XEN-D0501
has successfully completed multiple Phase 1 studies and has been shown
to be safe and well tolerated. The Phase 2 trials will be randomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over studies and will use
validated ambulatory cough monitoring technology developed by Dr. Jacky
Smith from the University Hospital of South Manchester.
The Company's Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of world-renowned
UK experts in respiratory disease including Professor Maria Belvisi and
Dr Mark Birrell from the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial
College London and Professor Dave Singh and Dr Jacky Smith from the
University of Manchester and University Hospital of South Manchester.
Dr John Ford, CEO of Ario Pharma, commented: "Cough is one of the most
common symptoms forwhich patients seek medical care, and yet current
medications are either poorly effective or have serious side effects.
There is growing evidence for the involvement of TRP channels in driving
cough reflex hypersensitivity and inflammatory responses in diseases
associated with cough. We are therefore delighted to have secured
investment to fund multiple Phase 2 trials that will evaluate the
efficacy of XEN-D0501. We plan to build on the emerging role of TRPV1 in
other respiratory diseases and to initiate discovery projects against
other TRP channels that play a role in respiratory disease".
Cough as a new medical indication
Causes of cough include recent upper airway infections such as the
common cold and influenza, asthma, lung infections, or are related to
diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal
reflux disease, cigarette smoking, exposure to air pollutants and taking
certain medications such as ACE inhibitors. Chronic cough, which is
defined as a cough lasting more than 8 weeks, affects 14-23% of the
population and may have a substantial impact on quality of life (French
et al. 1998).
XEN-D0501 is a Phase 2 ready drug that inhibits TRPV1, an ion channel
known to play a pivotal role in controlling airway vagal sensory nerve
activation and the cough reflex. In preclinical studies, XEN-D0501
suppressed ex vivo vagal nerve firing in response to tussive agents and
completely abolished cough counts in animal models. There is substantial
published clinical evidence for the role of TRPV1 in the pathogenesis of
cough, which suggests that TRPV1 antagonists could inhibit chronic cough
in both idiopathic cough and COPD cough (Khalid et al. 2011). XEN-D0501
has demonstrated good oral bioavailability and appropriate
pharmacokinetics and been remarkably well tolerated in both healthy
volunteers (Round et al. 2011) and patients.
French CL, Irwin RS, Curley FJ, Krikorian CJ. Impact of chronic cough on
quality of life. Arch Intern Med 1998;158(15):1657-61
Round P, Priestley A, Robinson J. An investigation of the safety and
pharmacokinetics of the novel TRPV1 antagonist XEN-D0501 in healthy
subjects. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2011;72(6):921-31.
S Khalid Cough responses to tussive agents in health and disease.
Thorax. 2011;66:Supp 4 S139.
About Ario Pharma
Ario Pharma Ltd focusses on the development of drugs for the treatment
of respiratory indications. Ario is about to evaluate the anti-tussive
properties of XEN-D0501, a potential best-in-class TRPV1 inhibitor, in
two Phase 2 clinical trials that will read out in 2014. The company is
managed by a highly experienced development team and supported by
world-renowned KOLs in respiratory disease. For more information see www.ariopharma.com
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