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|Auris Medical Receives Positive Scientific Advice from EMA on Development Plan and Regulatory Pathway for AM-111|
The Scientific Advice (Protocol Assistance) had been requested by the Company following the results of the HEALOS phase 3 trial. The results showed, based on a post-hoc analysis, a clinically meaningful and nominally significant improvement in hearing for the AM-111 0.4 mg/mL group compared to placebo in the subpopulation of patients with acute profound hearing loss. These patients were initially completely deaf or almost deaf on the affected ear and normally would have faced a particularly poor prognosis for hearing recovery.
The EMA reviewed the Company's proposed concept for a single pivotal trial with AM-111 0.4 mg/mL in patients suffering from acute profound hearing loss, which builds to a large extent on the design and outcomes from HEALOS. The Agency endorsed the proposed trial design, choice of efficacy and safety endpoints, as well as the statistical methodology. In addition, the EMA provided important guidance on the regulatory path forward and the maintenance of AM-111's orphan drug designation.
"We very much appreciate the EMA's thorough and very helpful comments and guidance for our AM-111 program which addresses a high unmet medical need in neurotology", commented
The Company intends to provide an update on its plans for advancing the AM-111 development program as part of a general strategy update on
About Acute Inner Ear Hearing Loss
Acute injury to the cochlea, e.g., from overexposure to noise, bacterial or viral infections, inflammation or vascular compromise may result in damage to inner ear hair cells and neurons and acute hearing loss. Thanks to cellular defenses and intrinsic repair mechanisms, a certain amount of hearing loss can be recovered in the subsequent days and weeks following the insult. However, the remaining hearing loss is irreversible. Acute inner ear hearing loss may be accompanied by other disorders of the inner ear such as dizziness or tinnitus, and if it develops into permanent hearing loss, it may have chronically debilitating consequences. Hearing loss may have a serious impact on professional and personal lives, e.g. through avoidance or withdrawal from social situations, reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety, impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks, or reduced job performance and earning power. To date, there exists no treatment with proven efficacy for acute inner ear hearing loss.
AM-111 is being developed in a biocompatible gel formulation for the treatment of acute sensorineural hearing loss with a single-dose administration into the middle ear. Its active substance is brimapitide (also known as D-JNKI-1, D-stereoisomer of c-Jun N-terminal Kinase Inhibitor 1), a cell-penetrating peptide which inhibits the JNK stress kinase. JNK is activated following various types of cochlear insults (stress) that cause acute inner ear hearing loss and plays a key role in apoptosis of sensory cells as well as in inflammatory responses. By blocking JNK, AM-111 protects stress-injured cochlear cells and helps to prevent or reduce chronic hearing loss. AM-111's otoprotective effects have been demonstrated in various animal models of cochlear stress, including acute acoustic trauma, acute labyrinthitis (inflammation), drug ototoxicity (aminoglycosides), bacterial infection, cochlear ischemia and cochlear implantation trauma. AM-111 has orphan drug designation from both the
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