Agreement to accelerate development of potential treatments for rare, endocrine, metabolic, and neurological conditions associated with primary and secondary ubiquinone deficiencies which belong to the wider class of mitochondrial diseases
An estimated 1 in 5,000 adults worldwide has a mitochondrial disease
Clarus to pay McGill $350,000 upfront and up to $10.5 million in potential development and regulatory milestones
NORTHBROOK, Ill. and MONTREAL, Sept. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (“Clarus”) (Nasdaq:CRXT), a pharmaceutical company dedicated to providing solutions to unmet medical needs by advancing androgen and metabolic therapies for men and women, and McGill University (“McGill”), Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university, today announced a licensing agreement whereby Clarus will develop and commercialize McGill’s proprietary technology designed to treat conditions associated with CoQ10 deficiencies in humans.
CoQ10 is synthesized in the inner membrane of mitochondria, a cellular organelle whose primary function is to produce the body’s chemical energy. Deficiencies of CoQ10 can lead to severe multiple organ dysfunctions that involve the brain, nerves, kidneys, heart, GI tract and muscle. Oral CoQ10 is largely ineffective because it does not result in intracellular uptake of CoQ10. McGill has identified a method to substantially increase such uptake, thereby forming the basis for a new, and potentially profound, method of addressing deficiencies of CoQ10.
“This collaboration with world-renowned McGill University expands our focus beyond androgen-based medicines to a metabolic therapy for CoQ10 deficiencies that have very limited treatment options,” said Dr. Robert Dudley, Clarus’s Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Knowing the role McGill’s discovery may have to address this important, unmet medical need is a terrific opportunity, and we are excited to get started.”
McGill’s discovery, a combination of CoQ10 plus caspofungin (an FDA-approved antifungal drug for adults and children), was made by Dr. Siegfried Hekimi and his colleague, Dr. Ying Wang. Dr. Hekimi is a Professor of Biology and holds the Robert Archibald & Catherine Louise Campbell Chair in Developmental Biology. He is an expert in aging research and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, which awarded him the Flavelle Medal for his outstanding contribution to biological science.
“Deficiencies of CoQ10 are a major medical challenge, and I am delighted that a discovery from my laboratory has been licensed by Clarus,” said Dr. Hekimi. “We look forward to working with the excellent team at Clarus to bring forward a treatment that could be potentially game changing for individuals afflicted with a severe lack of CoQ10 as well as individuals with other mitochondrial disease.”
Terms of the Agreement
Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Clarus will pay McGill a one-time upfront payment of $350,000 and up to $10.5 million in potential development and regulatory milestone payments. Additionally, McGill would be eligible for up to $30 million in potential commercial milestone payments. The success-based milestones denote important steps associated with building value for these programs.
About Mitochondrial Diseases
Mitochondrial diseases are chronic, genetic diseases that occur when the mitochondria, structures in our body cells that produce energy from oxygen and food, fail to function properly. Mitochondrial diseases can affect almost any area of the body and can occur at any age, making them often misdiagnosed. It is estimated that approximately one in 5,000 adults worldwide has a mitochondrial disease.
About Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc.
Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company with expertise in developing androgen and metabolic therapies for men and women – including potential therapies for orphan indications. Clarus Therapeutics’ first commercial product is JATENZO®. For more information, visit www.clarustherapeutics.com and www.jatenzo.com. Follow us on Twitter (@Clarus_Thera) and LinkedIn (Clarus Therapeutics).
About McGill University
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill University is Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university. McGill is consistently ranked as one of the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher learning with research activities spanning two campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 programs of study and over 40,000 students, including more than 10,200 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 12,800 international students making up 31% of the student body. Over half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including approximately 19% of our students who say French is their mother tongue.
Clarus Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the federal securities laws. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Clarus’ forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding its or its management team’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including those relating to the potential benefits and outcomes of the collaboration with McGill, and the ability to develop products for conditions associated with CoQ10 deficiencies, whether or not the success-based milestones will become payable. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting us will be those that Clarus has anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond Clarus’ control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks associated with pharmaceutical development, risks associated with Clarus’ financial position, and those factors described under the heading “Risk Factors” in the proxy/prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on July 23, 2021, and those that are included in any of Clarus’ future filings with the SEC. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of Clarus’ assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements. Some of these risks and uncertainties may in the future be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and there may be additional risks that Clarus considers immaterial, or which are unknown. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks. Clarus’ forward-looking statements only speak as of the date they are made, and Clarus does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.
Clarus Investor Relations Contact:
(847) 562-4300 x 206
JATENZO® (testosterone undecanoate) capsules, CIII, is an androgen indicated for testosterone replacement therapy in adult males for conditions associated with a deficiency or absence of endogenous testosterone:
Primary hypogonadism (congenital or acquired): testicular failure due to cryptorchidism, bilateral torsion, orchitis, vanishing testis syndrome, orchiectomy, Klinefelter syndrome, chemotherapy, or toxic damage from alcohol or heavy metals. These men usually have low serum testosterone concentrations and gonadotropins (follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH], luteinizing hormone [LH]) above the normal range.
Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (congenital or acquired): gonadotropin or luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) deficiency or pituitary-hypothalamic injury from tumors, trauma, or radiation. These men have low testosterone serum concentrations but have gonadotropins in the normal or low range.
Limitation of use
Safety and efficacy of JATENZO in males less than 18 years old have not been established.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNING: INCREASES IN BLOOD PRESSURE
JATENZO can cause blood pressure (BP) increases that can increase the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), including non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke and cardiovascular death.
Before initiating JATENZO, consider the patient’s baseline cardiovascular risk and ensure blood pressure is adequately controlled.
Periodically monitor for and treat new-onset hypertension or exacerbations of pre-existing hypertension and re-evaluate whether the benefits of JATENZO outweigh its risks in patients who develop cardiovascular risk factors or cardiovascular disease on treatment.
Due to this risk, use JATENZO only for the treatment of men with hypogonadal conditions associated with structural or genetic etiologies.
JATENZO is contraindicated in men with breast cancer or known or suspected prostate cancer. JATENZO is contraindicated in women who are pregnant as testosterone may cause fetal harm.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Check hematocrit prior to initiation and every 3 months while a patient is on JATENZO and if hematocrit becomes elevated, stop JATENZO until hematocrit decreases to an acceptable level. If hematocrit increases after JATENZO is restarted, stop permanently.
Monitor patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) treated with androgens due to an increased risk for worsening signs and symptoms of BPH.
Venous thromboembolic events (VTE), including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), have been reported in patients using testosterone replacement products like JATENZO. Evaluate patients with signs or symptoms consistent with DVT or PE and, if a VTE is suspected, discontinue JATENZO and initiate appropriate workup and management.
Testosterone has been subject to abuse, typically at doses higher than recommended for the approved indication and in combination with other anabolic androgenic steroids.
Large doses of androgens can suppress spermatogenesis by feedback inhibition of pituitary FSH. Inform patients of this risk before prescribing JATENZO.
Prolonged use of high doses of methyltestosterone has been associated with serious hepatic adverse events. JATENZO is not known to cause these adverse events; however, patients should be instructed to report any signs of hepatic dysfunction and JATENZO should be discontinued while the cause is evaluated.
Edema, with or without congestive heart failure, may be a serious complication in patients with pre-existing cardiac, renal, or hepatic disease. In addition to discontinuation of the drug, diuretic therapy may be required.
Gynecomastia may develop and persist in patients being treated for hypogonadism.
Sleep apnea may occur in some patients, especially those with risk factors such as obesity or chronic lung disease.
Changes in the serum lipid profile may require dose adjustment of lipid-lowering drugs or discontinuation of testosterone therapy. Monitor the lipid profile periodically, particularly after starting testosterone therapy.
Use JATENZO with caution in cancer patients at risk of hypercalcemia. Monitor serum calcium concentration regularly during treatment with JATENZO in these patients.
Androgens, including JATENZO, may decrease concentrations of thyroxine-binding globulin, resulting in decreased total T4 serum concentrations and increased resin uptake of T3 and T4. Free thyroid hormone concentrations remain unchanged, however, and there is no clinical evidence of thyroid dysfunction.
Depression and suicidal ideation have been reported in patients treated with JATENZO in clinical trials.
The most common adverse events of JATENZO (incidence ≥2%) are headache (5%), increased hematocrit (5%), hypertension (4%), decreased HDL (3%), and nausea (2%).
These are not all of the risks associated with JATENZO. For more information, click here for full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING on increases in blood pressure. You can also obtain information regarding JATENZO at www.jatenzo.com.
© 2021 Clarus Therapeutics, Inc. All rights reserved.