A Potential New Treatment for Chronic Cough and IPF
Algernon Pharmaceuticals candidate NP-120, also known as Ifenprodil, is the drug we are advancing in our chronic cough and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) research program. NP-120 is a small molecule approved in Japan and South Korea to treat vertigo caused by ischemic stroke. Recent preclinical in vivo animal studies show that NP-120 compared favorably to the world’s leading two treatments for IPF (Nintedanib and Pirfenidone), reducing fibrosis by 56 percent.
We have recently concluded a Phase 2a study of Ifenprodil in patients with IPF and chronic cough. The trial met its co-primary endpoint with patients receiving Ifenprodil experiencing no worsening of their lung function, and significant improvements were seen in the frequency of their IPF-associated cough as well.
Mechanism of Action
NP-120 is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist specifically targeting the NMDA-type subunit 2B (GluN2B). Ifenprodil prevents glutamate signaling. The NMDA receptor is found on many tissues including lung cells, T-cells, and neutrophils, and is expressed prominently in many parts of the brain. Although cough signals originate in afferent nerves in the lung and airway, the urge to cough is mediated in the brain, and the Company believes that inhibiting glutamate signaling can prevent the urge to cough regardless of the original stimulus. The Company also believes that pharmacological blockade of the NMDA receptor, specifically the NR2B subunit, on infiltrating neutrophils in interstitial lung disease can reduce inflammation and possibly reverse fibrosis. Further work to investigate the mechanism of action of NP-120 is ongoing.
Algernon has been issued a patent from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”), No. 3101853, for the treatment of interstitial lung disease with NP-120 (“Ifenprodil”), entitled “Compositions and Methods for Treating Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis”.
The invention claims treating interstitial lung disease, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (“IPF”), with Ifenprodil. The base claims of the patent will be valid through 2038, excluding any patent term adjustments or extensions which may provide additional protection. The Company also has active patent applications for Ifenprodil for the same compositions and methods in the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan.
Algernon’s intellectual property strategy for its repurposed drug program includes protecting its compounds by filing patent applications covering method of use for new disease indications, as well as dosing and formulation. In addition, the Company has filed new composition of matter patents for novel salt forms of NP-120.