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Piclidenoson From Can-Fite Biopharma Shows New, Promising Developments For Psoriasis Treatment

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Can-Fite Biopharma  Ltd. was one of the sponsors for the Benzinga Global Small Cap Conference that took place on December 8-9, 2020. The information contained in this article in no way represents investment advice or opinion on the part of Benzinga or its writers and is intended for informational purposes only.
In the era of constant development and innovation, there is still a lot to learn about the human body and how certain diseases develop. Without a doubt, 2020 marked the race to find an effective vaccine against COVID-19. However, this is not the only focus of the medical field; treatments for cancer and auto-immune diseases such as psoriasis are a priority to boost and improve our quality of life. 

Can-Fite Biopharma Ltd. (NYSE: CANF) — a company that focuses on treating inflammatory, cancer, and metabolic diseases through its technological platform — understands that the current pandemic can aggravate certain conditions or make patients more vulnerable. Thus, making offering innovative therapies a priority to get substantial medicinal outcomes. 

Can-Fite’s lead drug candidate, Piclidenoson, is currently in a Phase III trial for moderate-to-severe psoriasis and a Phase II study to treat moderate COVID-19. 

Lead Drug Candidate Piclidenoson

Piclidenoson has been dosed in over 1,500 patients with an excellent safety profile in clinical trials to date. In contrast, the biologics on the market approved to treat psoriasis have black box warnings with many listed side-effects.

While psoriasis is a severe disease with quality of life implications for patients, it is not life-threatening. Therefore, patients recognize that while they need effective treatment, safety is also a high priority.

The Company’s technology platform findings help provide targeted therapy, mainly aimed at the diseased cells, thus not harming normal body cells and tissues and reducing potential risks.

Can-Fite’s lead drug candidate offers several potential key benefits over psoriasis treatments currently on the market. It provides easy administration for patients who tend to prefer oral medications over injectables as an oral pill. 

A 2018 study on psoriasis patient preferences published in American Health & Drug Benefits showed the two most important considerations for choosing a psoriasis drug were the route of administration and cost, with oral administration and lower cost being most preferred.

Currently, major players in the psoriasis marker are AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), Johnson & Johnson (NASDAQ: JNJ), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY), Novartis (NYSE: NVS),  and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), among others.  The drugs compared to Piclidenoson are Humira®, Enbrel®, Remicade®, and Otezla®.

The World Of Psoriasis 

According to psoriasis.org, psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease with an unclear cause characterized by chronic inflammation caused by the immune system's dysfunction. Some visible signs are raised plaques and scales on the skin, commonly located on the scalp, trunk, and extensor surfaces. 

According to the World Psoriasis Day consortium, 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis—2 to 3 percent of the total population.  In fact, patients with this disease experience a tremendous negative impact on their quality of life, including high rates of comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn's disease, obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, and depression, among others. Besides, this disease has far-reach psychosocial implications in some patients. 

It is also essential to notice that patients with psoriasis have high annual health costs compared to others in the population. The market size for psoriasis is estimated to be $11.5 billion at the end of 2020.

Can-Fite Study 

The Comfort™ Phase III psoriasis study is designed to establish Piclidenoson’s superiority compared to placebo and non-inferiority than Apremilast (Otezla®) in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The randomized, double-blind study is being conducted in Europe, Israel, and Canada. 

Prior studies of Piclidenoson in psoriasis: A Phase II study in psoriasis successfully met its primary endpoint showing that Piclidenoson effectively ameliorates disease symptoms. In the Phase II/III study, the data showed clinical activity from week 16 till 32.

About Can-Fite Biopharma

Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. is an Israeli clinical-stage drug development company with a platform technology that is designed to address the treatment of cancer, liver, inflammatory disease, and COVID-19.  In addition, the company has an advanced pipeline of proprietary compounds in phase II and III clinical development stage. Its drugs have an excellent safety profile with experience in over 1,500 patients in clinical studies to date. 

The company currently has an intellectual property portfolio of 15 patent families issued and pending to protect the different indications. Corporate partnerships for Piclidenoson and Namodenoson out-licensed in select territories with ~$18 million received to date; the company is well-positioned to conduct all its clinical development programs and G&A for > 1 year.

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

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