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- First patient enrolled in Phase 2b comparative trial segment vs vancomycin, current standard of care
- Previously completed Ph2a segment of this Phase 2 trial demonstrated 100% clinical cure and 100% sustained clinical cure in patients with CDI
- Comparing ibezapolstat to vancomycin, Phase 2b will add to the pioneering data from Phase 1 and from Phase 2a patients demonstrating ibezapolstat's favorable effects on gut microbiome and bile acids
- Ibezapolstat is FDA QIDP and Fast Track Designated for priority review
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., Dec. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Acurx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACXP) ("Acurx" or the "Company"), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of antibiotics for difficult-to-treat bacterial infections, announced today that the first patient has been enrolled in its Phase 2b clinical trial of ibezapolstat, its lead antibiotic candidate, against the standard of care to treat CDI, vancomycin, in a 64 patient double-blind randomized trial expected to be completed mid-2022. C. difficile bacteria remains on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Urgent Threat list, highlighting the need for new therapeutics to treat CDI. Ibezapolstat is FDA QIDP and Fast Track Designated for priority review.
Robert J. DeLuccia, Executive Chairman of Acurx, stated, "With the excellent clinical results and very good safety and tolerability demonstrated in the Phase 2a segment of this ongoing trial, we validated the bacterial pol IIIC enzyme as a therapeutic target for ibezapolstat, our first product candidate in our new class of antibiotics. Additionally, this trial segment showed potentially beneficial effects of ibezapolstat on the intestinal microbiome and bile acid metabolism." He further stated that "Initiating this Phase 2b segment is a very important clinical development milestone for our company. We look forward to successfully completing enrollment in mid-2022."
About the Ibezapolstat Phase 2 Clinical Trial. The completed multicenter, open-label single-arm segment (Phase 2a) study is now followed by this double-blind, randomized, active-controlled, non-inferiority, segment (Phase 2b) at 12 US clinical trial sites which together comprise the Phase 2 clinical trial (see https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04247542). This Phase 2 clinical trial is designed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of ibezapolstat in the treatment of CDI including pharmacokinetics and microbiome changes from baseline and continue to test for anti-recurrence microbiome properties seen in the Phase 2a trial, including the treatment-related changes in alpha diversity and bacterial abundance and effects on bile acid metabolism.
The completed Phase 2a segment of this trial was an open label cohort of up to 20 subjects from study centers in the United States. In this cohort, 10 patients with diarrhea caused by C. difficile were treated with ibezapolstat 450 mg orally, twice daily for 10 days. All patients were followed for recurrence for 28± 2 days. Per protocol, after 10 patients of the projected 20 Phase 2a patients completed treatment, the Trial Oversight Committee assessed the safety and tolerability and made its recommendation regarding early termination of the Phase 2a study. Based on the recommendation of Acurx's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and Trial Oversight Committee, we terminated enrollment in Phase 2a early and are now advancing to Phase 2b. The SAB unanimously supported the early termination of the Phase 2a trial after 10 patients were enrolled in the trial instead of 20 patients as originally planned. The early termination was based on the evidence of meeting the primary and secondary endpoints of eliminating the infection (100%), with no recurrences of infection (100%), and with an acceptable adverse event profile. In the upcoming Phase 2b, approximately 64 additional patients with CDI will be enrolled and randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either ibezapolstat 450 mg every 12 hours or vancomycin 125 mg orally every 6 hours, in each case, for 10 days and followed for 28 ± 2 days following the end of treatment for recurrence of CDI. The two treatments will be identical in appearance, dosing times, and number of capsules administered to maintain the blind. This Phase 2 clinical trial will also evaluate pharmacokinetics (PK) and microbiome changes and continue to test for anti-recurrence microbiome properties, including the change from baseline in alpha diversity and bacterial abundance, especially overgrowth of healthy gut microbiota Actinobacteria and Firmicute phylum species during and after therapy. In the event non-inferiority of ibezapolstat to vancomycin is demonstrated, further analysis will be conducted to test for superiority.
Phase 2a data demonstrated complete eradication of colonic C. difficile by day three of treatment with ibezapolstat as well as the observed overgrowth of healthy gut microbiota, Actinobacteria and Firmicute phyla species, during and after therapy. Very importantly, emerging data show an increased concentration of secondary bile acids during and following ibezapolstat therapy which is known to correlate with colonization resistance against C. difficile. A decrease in primary bile acids and the favorable increase in the ratio of secondary-to-primary bile acids suggest that ibezapolstat may reduce the likelihood of CDI recurrence when compared to vancomycin
About the Microbiome in Clostridioides difficile Infection (CDI) and Bile Acid Metabolism
C. difficile can be a normal component of the healthy gut microbiome, but when the microbiome is thrown out of balance, the C. difficile can thrive and cause an infection. After colonization with C. difficile, the organism produces and releases the main virulence factors, the two large clostridial toxins A (TcdA) and B (TcdB). (Kachrimanidou, Microorganisms 2020, 8, 200; doi:10.3390/microorganisms8020200.) TcdA and TcdB are exotoxins that bind to human intestinal epithelial cells and are responsible for inflammation, fluid and mucous secretion, as well as damage to the intestinal mucosa.
Bile acids perform many functional roles in the GI tract, with one of the most important being maintenance of a healthy microbiome by inhibiting C. difficile growth. Primary bile acids, which are secreted by the liver into the intestines, promote germination of C. difficile spores and thereby increase the risk of recurrent CDI after successful treatment of an initial episode. On the other hand, secondary bile acids, which are produced by normal gut microbiota through metabolism of primary bile acids, do not induce C. difficile sporulation and therefore protect against recurrent disease. Since ibezapolstat treatment leads to minimal disruption of the gut microbiome, bacterial production of secondary bile acids continues which may contribute to an anti-recurrence effect.
About Clostridioides difficile Infection (CDI). According to the 2017 Update (published February 2018) of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for C. difficile Infection by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and Society or Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), CDI remains a significant medical problem in hospitals, in long-term care facilities and in the community. C. difficile is one of the most common causes of health care- associated infections in U.S. hospitals (Lessa, et al, 2015, New England Journal of Medicine). Recent estimates suggest C. difficile approaches 500,000 infections annually in the U.S. and is associated with approximately 20,000 deaths annually. (Guh, 2020, New England Journal of Medicine). Based on internal estimates, the recurrence rate of two of the three antibiotics currently used to treat CDI is between 20% and 40% among approximately 150,000 patients treated. We believe the annual incidence of CDI in the U.S. approaches 600,000 infections and a mortality rate of approximately 9.3%.
About Acurx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Acurx Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new antibiotics for difficult to treat infections. The Company's approach is to develop antibiotic candidates that target the DNA polymerase IIIC enzyme and its R&D pipeline includes early-stage antibiotic product candidates that target Gram-positive bacteria, including Clostridioides difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (DRSP). To learn more about Acurx Pharmaceuticals and its product pipeline please visit www.acurxpharma.com.
Any statements in this press release about our future expectations, plans and prospects, including statements regarding our strategy, future operations, prospects, plans and objectives, and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: whether ibezapolstat will benefit from the QIDP designation; whether ibezapolstat will advance through the clinical trial process on a timely basis; whether the results of the clinical trials of ibezapolstat will warrant the submission of applications for marketing approval, and if so, whether ibezapolstat will receive approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies where approval is sought; whether, if ibezapolstat obtains approval, it will be successfully distributed and marketed; and other factors. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent our views as of December 6, 2021. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so.
Investor Contact: Acurx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. David P. Luci, President & CEO Tel: 917-533-1469
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SOURCE Acurx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.