Pharma Focus Asia

Semnur Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Announces Successful Phase 1 / 2 Trial in Patients with Radicular Pain for Its Lead Product, SP-102

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Semnur Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced successful Phase 1 / 2 pharmacokinetic bridging trial of the lead product SP-102.  The trial was conducted in the patients with radicular pain, achieved its primary pharmacokinetic endpoint, and also demonstrated that a single epidural injection of SP-102 can lead to a sustained analgesic effect lasting one month.

SP-102 is the first non-opioid novel gel formulation in development for the treatment of lumbar radicular pain, containing no neurotoxic preservatives, surfactants, solvents or particulates.  The SP-102 formulation is administered by epidural injection and extends the residency time at the site of injection based on preclinical and patient studies.

"We are very excited with the data from this first-in-human proof-of-principle study, which allows us to proceed with the planned Phase 3 safety and efficacy trials in the U.S.  SP-102 is designed to address the limitations of existing steroid formulations, which are used off-label for the treatment of lumbar radicular pain, and has a strong potential to meet the current unmet medical needs.  We anticipate sharing more details from the Phase 1/2 trial at upcoming meetings and with the expectation to start the pivotal multi-center U.S. Phase 3 trial this year," said Dmitri Lissin, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Semnur.

The trial also showed that adverse events were comparable between the two treatments.  There were no serious adverse events (SAE) and SP-102 injections were well tolerated.  The single epidural injection of SP-102 showed a clear trend in a sustained analgesic effect, lasting over the entire observational period of one month, demonstrated by Mean 20-40 percent reductions of daily average back and leg pain in 12 subjects enrolled in the study.

In the U.S., more than 30 million people live with low back and radicular pain, with this population expected to grow in the low-single digit percentages annually.  Many patients experience pain at moderate-to-severe levels with intolerance and/or inadequate response to current analgesic therapies such as opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  There is a great need for highly effective analgesic medications to provide patient relief without the toxicity and tolerability challenges of NSAIDs and opioids.  Opioid prescriptions account for about 40 percent of the chronic pain market and carry a well-known risk of abuse and misuse, underscoring the need for alternative pain therapies without the medical and societal challenges.

"We believe these data validate our novel program and bolster our confidence that SP-102 can provide radicular pain/sciatica patients with persistent and prolonged pain relief.  Lumbar radicular pain, otherwise known as sciatica, is commonly treated by off-label epidural steroid injections.  There are an estimated ten to eleven million epidural steroid injections administered per year in the U.S. alone. These clinical results are our first seminal milestone for Semnur and provide encouraging news for the many millions of people who are confronting chronic radicular pain/sciatica.  The pain associated with radicular/sciatica can be debilitating, and we believe that SP-102 could be the first approved non-opioid treatment option for patients suffering from this painful progressive condition," said Jaisim Shah, Chief Executive Officer of Semnur Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

"At a time of opioid epidemic in U.S.A. and 100 million patients with chronic pain, it is encouraging to see new non-opioid formulations being developed for use by interventional pain physicians," said Asokumar Buvanendran, MD, Vice Chair, Research & Director of Orthopedic Anesthesia, Professor, Department of Anesthesiology at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago.

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