Pharma Focus Asia

NEUROTROPE Announces Positive Top-Line Results From Phase 2 Study of Bryostatin-1 for Moderate to Severe Alzheimer's Disease

Monday, May 01, 2017

Neurotrope, Inc. today announced positive top-line results from its Phase 2 study (-202 Study) of Bryostatin-1 in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease (AD), a population not commonly targeted in AD clinical trials. Bryostatin-1, a Protein Kinase C epsilon activator that works through synaptic growth factors, as well as anti-amyloid and anti-tangle signaling pathways in the brain, has been shown, in non-clinical efficacy studies, to induce the growth of mature synapses in the brain and prevent neuronal death. Thus, Bryostatin-1 has a fundamentally different biological mechanism of action with the potential for longer lasting effects than the other currently marketed drugs for AD (e.g., donepezil (Aricept®) and memantine (Namenda®)).

This Phase 2 study was the first repeat dose study of Bryostatin-1 in patients with late stage AD (defined as a Mini Mental State Exam 2 (MMSE-2) of 4-15), in which two dose levels of Bryostatin-1 were compared with placebo to assess safety and preliminary efficacy (p < 0.1, one-tailed) after 12 weeks of treatment. The pre-specified primary endpoint, the Severe Impairment Battery (SIB) (used to evaluate cognition in severe dementia), compared each dose of Bryostatin-1 with placebo at Week 13 in two sets of patients: 1) the modified intent-to-treat (mITT) population (consisting of all patients who received study drug and had at least one efficacy/safety evaluation), and 2) the Completer population (consisting of those patients within the mITT population who completed the 13-week assessment).

Top-line results indicate that the 20 µg dose, administered every two weeks, met the pre-specified primary endpoint in the Completer population, but not in the mITT population.  Among the patients who completed the protocol (n = 113), the patients on the 20 µg dose at 13 weeks showed a mean increase on the SIB of 1.5 vs. a decrease in the placebo group of -1.1 (improvement of 2.6) (p < 0.07) (n = 80), whereas, in the mITT population, the 20 mcg group had a mean increase on the SIB of 1.2 vs. a decrease in the placebo group of -0.8 (improvement of 2.0) (p < 0.134) (n = 90).

A total of 147 patients were enrolled into the study; 135 patients in the mITT population and 113 in the Completer population. The Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Study Activities of Daily Living Inventory Severe Impairment version (ADCS-ADL-SIV) was a secondary endpoint. The p values for the comparisons between 20 µg and placebo for the ADCS-ADL endpoint were 0.082 and 0.104, respectively, among the patients who completed the protocol in the mITT population. Analysis of secondary and numerous additional exploratory endpoints are ongoing.

Together these results indicate, in this relatively small trial, that Bryostatin-1, at the 20 µg dose, improved outcomes in  important dimensions that are impaired in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease i.e., cognition and the ability to care for oneself. Since most of the patients in this study were already taking donepezil and/or memantine, the efficacy of Bryostatin-1 was in addition to standard of care.

The safety profile of Bryostatin-1 20 µg was similar to that of the placebo group except for a somewhat higher incidence of diarrhea. Fewer adverse events were reported in patients in the 20 µg group, compared to the 40 µg group. The mean age of patients in the study was 72 years and similar across all three treatment groups.

"The results of this relatively small randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study of Bryostatin-1 shows that Bryostatin-1 has the potential to positively impact the lives of these severely debilitated patients with moderate to severe AD, a population that is in dire need of new therapies, especially drugs with a new mechanism of action," said Dr. Susanne Wilke, Neurotrope's Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited to take the next steps in advancing the development of Bryostatin-1 to treat this serious disease that every year becomes a larger and larger public health burden in the U.S. and around the world. Additional development, with a path to Phase 3, is clearly warranted."

"These results, which show improvement in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, the population that is generally recognized as the most difficult to treat, provide exciting evidence of a new therapeutic approach potentially could rejuvenate synaptic networks in the brain. Improvements across the range of important manifestations of the underlying neurodegenerative disease, as shown in this Phase 2 study, could potentially represent a shift in the paradigm to treat Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Daniel Alkon, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Neurotrope. "I would also like to thank the National Cancer Institute for their generous donation of the Bryostatin-1 we have used in our clinical trials."

Further analysis of the data from the Phase 2 -202 Study is ongoing, and Neurotrope plans to present more data and analyses from this study at future medical conferences.  Once all of the data and analyses have been reviewed, the Company plans to meet with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address the clinical and regulatory path forward for Bryostatin-1. 

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