Savara Submits Investigational New Drug Application to FDA for Expansion of Molgradex Impala Study Into U.S.
- Category: Proteins and Peptides
- Published on Friday, 22 December 2017 10:38
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AUSTIN, TX, USA I December 21, 2017 I Savara, Inc. (NASDAQ: SVRA), an orphan lung disease company, today announced the submission of an investigational new drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its lead product Molgradex, an inhaled formulation of recombinant human GM-CSF, for the treatment of autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, or PAP.
Earlier this year, the Company announced its expedited U.S. development strategy for Molgradex, which expanded and modified the ongoing IMPALA study in PAP to serve as a global pivotal study for U.S. registration purposes. The IMPALA study has progressed steadily, with more than 80% of the 90 patients now enrolled. With the recent IND submission, Savara plans to open U.S. sites and complete enrollment with patients from all major territories, including the U.S., EU, and Japan.
The IND submission also adds a blinded interim check of the variability of key secondary endpoints. This is designed to provide an opportunity to confirm or modify the study sample size, if necessary.
About the IMPALA Study
The IMPALA study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to compare the efficacy and safety of Molgradex with placebo in patients with PAP. The study began enrolling patients in Europe and Japan last year.
The primary endpoint in the IMPALA study is the absolute change from baseline in arterial-alveolar oxygen gradient, a measure of patient's oxygenation status, following 24 weeks of treatment. In addition, the FDA will focus its review on three key secondary endpoints that will be assessed to show improvement in clinical symptoms and function, including six-minute walk distance, St. George's respiratory questionnaire, and the time to need of whole lung lavage. Patients are randomized to receive treatment for up to 24 weeks in one of three treatment arms: 1) Molgradex 300 µg administered once daily, 2) Molgradex 300 µg and matching placebo administered daily in 7-day intermittent cycles of each, or 3) inhaled placebo administered once daily.
About Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis (PAP)
PAP is a rare lung disease which is characterized by the build-up of lung surfactant in the alveoli, or air sacs, of the lungs. The surfactant consists of proteins and lipids, and is an important physiological substance that lines the inside of the alveoli to prevent the lungs from collapsing. In a healthy lung, the old and inactivated surfactant is cleared and digested by immune cells called alveolar macrophages. Alveolar macrophages need to be stimulated by GM-CSF to function properly in clearing surfactant, but in autoimmune PAP, GM-CSF is neutralized by antibodies against GM-CSF, rendering the macrophages unable to perform their tasks. As a result, an excess of surfactant accumulates in the alveoli, causing obstruction of gas exchange, and patients start to experience shortness of breath, and decreased exercise tolerance. Patients may also experience chronic cough, as well as episodes of fever, chest pain, or coughing blood, especially if secondary lung infection develops. In the long term, the disease can lead to serious complications, including lung fibrosis and the need for lung transplant.
Molgradex is an inhaled formulation of recombinant human GM-CSF, in Phase 3 development for PAP and in preparation for Phase 2a development for nontuberculous mycobacteria, or NTM, lung infection. Molgradex has been granted Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of PAP in the United States and the European Union.
Savara Inc. is a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of serious or life-threatening rare respiratory diseases. Savara's pipeline comprises: Molgradex, an inhaled granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, or GM-CSF, in Phase 3 development for PAP, and in preparation for Phase 2a development for NTM lung infection; AeroVanc, a Phase 3 stage inhaled vancomycin for treatment of MRSA infection in Cystic Fibrosis; and, Aironite, an inhaled sodium nitrite for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, or HFpEF, in Phase 2 development. Savara's strategy involves expanding its pipeline of potentially best-in-class products through indication expansion, strategic development partnerships and product acquisitions, with the goal of becoming a leading company in its field. Savara's management team has significant experience in orphan drug development and pulmonary medicine, in identifying unmet needs, developing and acquiring new product candidates, and effectively advancing them to approvals and commercialization. More information can be found at www.savarapharma.com. (Twitter: @SavaraPharma)