ARCA biopharma announced it has submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) to evaluate AB201 for the treatment of patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Pending FDA feedback, ARCA anticipates initiating the Phase 2b portion of a sequential Phase 2b/3 clinical evaluation of AB201 in the fourth quarter of this year.
Dr Michael Bristow, ARCA’s President and CEO, commented, “With what we believe to be a strong scientific rationale, safety data from prior human clinical trials in over 700 patients, and a well-defined regulatory pathway, we believe AB201 has potential as a therapeutic treatment for COVID-19, as well as other RNA virus-associated diseases.”
AB201 is a small recombinant protein being developed as a potential treatment for RNA virus-associated disease, initially focusing on COVID-19. AB201 is a potent, selective inhibitor of tissue factor (TF), which has been identified as playing a central role in the inflammatory response to viral infections and in the process of viral dissemination. Its unique mechanism of action gives AB201 a combination of anti-coagulant, immuno-modulation and anti-viral properties, and therefore the potential to be effective in addressing the pathologies caused by viral infections from multiple aspects.
AB201 has previously undergone Phase 1 and Phase 2 testing in more than 700 patients, including in clinical studies for prevention of venous and arterial thrombosis, where it showed efficacy in inhibiting the TF pathway and was well tolerated at therapeutic doses. Recent research suggests that the disease syndrome caused by coronavirus may have much in common with other severe infections in which the infection process causes inappropriate activation of the coagulation system and other aspects of the immune response, resulting in serious complications.
Recent mechanistic discoveries, as well as prior data from studies in non-human primates (NHPs) given lethal doses of Ebola or Marburg filoviruses demonstrating morbidity and mortality reductions, decreases in inflammatory biomarkers and reduction in viral load, indicate that AB201 may have important antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity in addition to its anticoagulant effects. The company believes that collectively these observations provide a strong rationale for investigating AB201 as a treatment for COVID-19 and other RNA virus-associated diseases.