Renovion, COPD Foundation Partner on New Therapy to Clear Mucus
Renovion is teaming up with the COPD Foundation to develop a new nebulized therapy that aims to help clear mucus and reduce inflammation in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.
Phase 2 clinical trials of the investigational treatment, called ARINA-1, are planned to begin early next year, the partners said.
“Through our ongoing communication with patients, mucus production (commonly referred to as chronic bronchitis) is reported as one of the key challenges facing COPD and bronchiectasis patients as they deal with these diseases on a daily basis,” Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD, president and chief scientific officer of the COPD Foundation, said in a press release.
ARINA-1, a first-in-class therapy that addresses deficiencies in the body’s innate immune system, is a combination of three compounds designed to make mucus easier to clear.
The first ingredient, glutathione, is an antioxidant that may help lower mucus viscosity by breaking apart mucus proteins called mucins. The second ingredient, ascorbic acid — commonly known as vitamin C — has anti-inflammatory properties and also may help increase the activity of glutathione.
The third ingredient is bicarbonate — commonly known as being part of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). This compound may help normalize mucus acidity, and facilitate its transport through the airways.
The combination, scientists say, should work to restores critical components of the innate immune system to improve mucus clearance.
In a study published last year, scientists at Renovion and other institutions demonstrated that treatment with ARINA-1 increased mucus clearance in preclinical models of cystic fibrosis, a disease characterized by the production of abnormally thick and sticky mucus. The results also showed that ARINA-1 reduced mucus viscosity more effectively than saline, a standard mucus clearing approach.
Under the new collaboration, the COPD Foundation’s global partnership networks and patient-centered expertise will be leveraged to help Renovion’s clinical program for ARINA-1 to progress as efficiently as possible.
“We are partnering with Renovion to accelerate the clinical programs for ARINA-1 in both COPD and bronchiectasis by tapping into the Foundation’s global community of patient advocates and scientific and clinical development experts,” said Tal-Singer.
Dan Copeland, Renovion’s CEO, said the collaboration is a testament to the commitment of both the foundation and the biotech company to develop “a life-changing therapy for millions of people around the world who suffer from COPD and bronchiectasis.” Partnering on the development of ARINA-1 “will propel Phase 2 efforts in both COPD and bronchiectasis.”
“Finding the right patient target for clinical trials is a primary challenge of drug development today — and this is especially true in the COPD and bronchiectasis patient populations,” Copeland said. “This partnership will enable an unparalleled focus on a subset of individuals suffering from mucus and chronic inflammation in their lungs.”