Results Support Streamlined Regulatory Pathway for Novel Hypertriglyceridemia Drug
Laval, Québec / CRWE PRESS RELEASE / Sept. 14, 2016 - Acasti Pharma (NASDAQ:ACST – TSX-V:APO) today announced that its bridging study for novel drug candidate CaPre® (omega-3 phospholipid) has successfully met its objectives, supporting Acasti's strategy to pursue the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway for approval. Acasti is developing CaPre for the treatment of patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia, a metabolic condition that contributes to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and pancreatitis. The 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway allows Acasti to streamline the overall development program required to support a New Drug Application (NDA) by relying on the safety data of an approved drug.
"We are confident that the results of this study support the 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway chosen by Acasti to gain marketing approval of CaPre," said Jan D'Alvise, president and CEO of Acasti Pharma. "With this momentum, we look forward to working with the FDA to confirm the pathway and optimize the design of our Phase 3 program, which will seek to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of CaPre in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia."
Acasti's open-label, randomized, four-way, cross-over, bioavailability study compared CaPre given as a single dose of 4 grams in fasting and fed states with the approved hypertriglyceridemia drug LOVAZA (omega-3-acid ethyl esters) in 56 healthy volunteers. The study met its primary objective and demonstrated that the levels of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) following administration of CaPre did not exceed the levels following administration of LOVAZA in subjects who were fed a high-fat meal. These results support the basis for claiming a comparable safety profile of the two products.
Furthermore, among subjects in the fasting state, CaPre demonstrated better bioavailability than LOVAZA, as measured by blood levels of EPA and DHA. As previously reported, the bioavailability of CaPre is not significantly reduced when taken with a low-fat meal versus a high-fat meal. This could represent a significant clinical advantage for CaPre since the administration with a low-fat meal represents a more attractive regimen for patients with hypertriglyceridemia who follow a restricted diet.
CaPre is a novel composition of omega-3 phospholipids sourced from krill. Its omega-3s, principally EPA and DHA, are naturally either "free" or bound to phospholipids that help them to be better absorbed into the body. This allows for enhanced bioavailability and EPA and DHA blood levels compared to the "esterified" fish-oil omega-3 options such as LOVAZA. CaPre is designed to modulate the major lipids associated with cardio-metabolic disease: in two previously reported Phase 2 clinical trials, CaPre reduced triglyceride levels, lowered non-high density lipoprotein (non-HDL-C, a useful marker of cardiovascular disease), and increased levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL-C, or "good cholesterol") while having a neutral to positive effect on lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL-C, or "bad cholesterol").
"The CaPre bioavailability study has reinforced the compound's unique attributes in comparison with the leading pharmaceutical agent for hypertriglyceridemia," said Roderick Carter, M.D., chairman of Acasti Pharma. "CaPre demonstrates clinically meaningful effects on many key markers of cardio-metabolic health. With high rates of obesity and diabetes fueling the number of patients with elevated triglycerides and cholesterols, CaPre could fill the need for a best-in-class omega-3 medication that addresses the full lipid profiles of these patients."
Sourced from krill oil, CaPre seeks to provide a full scope of health benefits to patients with hypertriglyceridemia, filling a medical need that no other omega-3 treatment option has been able to address. CaPre successfully completed Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia, a very common metabolic condition in which blood levels of triglycerides, a type of lipid, are elevated, posing a risk to cardiovascular health. Severe hypertriglyceridemia, affecting more than 4 million adults in the U.S. is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease and pancreatitis and is often caused or exacerbated by uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, obesity and sedentary habits. CaPre is intended to be taken orally once per day in capsule form.
About Acasti Pharma
Acasti Pharma is a biopharmaceutical innovator advancing a potentially best-in-class cardiovascular drug, CaPre, for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia, a chronic condition affecting an estimated one-third of the U.S. population. Since its founding in 2008, Acasti Pharma has focused on addressing a critical market need for an effective, safe and well-absorbing omega-3 therapeutic that can address patients' complete lipid profile, making a positive impact on all major lipids associated with cardiovascular disease risk. For more information, visit www.acastipharma.com.
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Source: Acasti Pharma Inc.