AnaMar Announces US and EU Orphan Drug Designation for AM1476 for Treating Systemic Sclerosis
First-in-class, peripheral-acting serotonin receptor antagonist being developed as an anti-fibrotic treatment for systemic sclerosis
Lund, Sweden, 5 Feb 2024: AnaMar, a clinical-stage biotech company developing first in class anti-fibrotic 5-HT2B receptor antagonists, announces that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have granted orphan drug designation (ODD) to its lead clinical candidate, AM1476 for the treatment of systemic sclerosis (SSc).
AM1476 is a selective peripheral-acting 5-HT2B receptor small molecule antagonist that can be delivered orally. It has demonstrated efficacy in in vitro and in vivo models of fibrosis, as well as favourable safety and pharmacokinetic profiles in Phase I clinical studies. AM1476 offers a unique dual-action approach to treat both skin and lung manifestations of systemic sclerosis.
Systemic sclerosis is a chronic, progressive, autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation and fibrosis, i.e. uncontrolled scar tissue formation, in skin and various internal organs. Skin fibrosis is the distinguishing hallmark of SSc, associated with significant disability. The degree of skin fibrosis provides insight about progression of the disease. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a common and early manifestation of SSc. Around 100,000 people in the EU are affected by SSc and up to 80% of these may develop ILD. ILD causes progressive lung scaring, known as fibrosis, which leads to increasing, chronic, breathing problems and organ dysfunction, and can lead to death. There are currently no treatments on the market that effectively stop or reverse scarring in both skin and lung tissue.
AnaMar’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ulf Ljungberg, said: “We are delighted with the FDA’s and EMA’s decisions to grant orphan drug designation to AM1476 for SSc. This is a significant milestone and underscores the significant unmet need for novel medicines to prevent, heal and slow organ scarring from fibrotic diseases, which are often progressive and can have a poor prognosis. There is great potential in AM1476 as a unique dual-action approach to treat skin and lung manifestations of systemic sclerosis, especially as it represses both macrophage and fibroblast activity, whilst minimizing side effects and interactions with other medicines. We are now planning for Phase II clinical trials and look forward to commercialising our product with a pharma partner to bring better treatment options to patients with fibrosis.”
The company has designed a Phase II study to evaluate the treatment effects in SSc-ILD with a proposed dosing regimen for 60 patients in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized trial over 12 months with lung function and skin thickness as efficacy readouts. Drawing on its heritage in diagnostics, the company is also developing biomarkers and gene signatures to identify patients most likely to respond to treatment and ensure the best outcomes for patients with fibrosis.
The FDA and EMA grant orphan status to products intended to treat, diagnose, or prevent a life-threatening rare disease or condition that affects fewer than five in 10,000 people in Europe, or under 200,000 people in the US, and with either no currently approved method of diagnosis, prevention, or treatment, or with significant benefit to those affected by the disease. Orphan drug designation provides certain benefits, including the potential for extensive marketing exclusivity following regulatory approval, reduction in regulatory fees and, in the case of EU, a centralized approval process.
Based in Lund, Sweden, AnaMar is developing first-in-class, anti-fibrotic medicines through its patented suite of serotonin (5-HT2B) receptor antagonists.
Our selective, oral 5-HT2B receptor antagonist, AM1476, has broad therapeutic potential across fibrotic conditions with limited, if any, treatment options, including systemic fibrotic disorders and organ-specific fibrotic disorders such as interstitial lung diseases. AM1476 offers a unique dual-action approach to treat skin and lung manifestations of systemic sclerosis.
By targeting peripheral 5-HT2B receptors our antagonists will halt key signaling pathways associated with fibrosis. This specifically reduces 5-HT-induced myofibroblast and macrophage activity and TGF-β production, minimizing side effects and interactions with other medicines.
We are combining our innovative therapeutic platform with biomarkers and genetic analysis to identify those patients most likely to benefit from treatment, using our heritage in diagnostics to ensuring the best outcomes for those with fibrosis.
We are currently seeking collaborations with pharma for the advancement of AM1476 into Phase II clinical trials.
AnaMar’s leadership team has an experienced track record in discovery, development, and advancement of new medicines. The company has received significant funding over recent years from the Allegro Investment Fund.
Ulf Ljungberg – CEO
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