ISA 247: trans-ISA 247, trans-R 1524, ISA(TX)247, ISAtx 247, ISATx247, LX 211, LX211, R 1524, R-1524

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Drugs in R&D 2007, 8 (2): 103-12
Isotechnika is developing the immunosuppressive drug ISA 247, a calcineurin inhibitor that is undergoing clinical development for the treatment of psoriasis (phase III) and prevention of organ rejection after transplantation (phase II). Preclinical development for uveitis is also underway. Other autoimmune disease indications that could be explored include arthritis, type I diabetes and Crohn's disease. ISA 247 was being co-developed as R 1524 by Isotechnika and Roche. However, Roche is no longer involved in the development of this compound. Based on analysis of previously collected data, the trans-ISA 247 isomer was found to be more bioavailable and it is expected that this isomer can be administered at a lower dose compared with the previous formulation that consisted of an equivalent mixture of the two geometric isomers (cis and trans). Preclinical observations indicate that ISA 247 has the potential to be more potent and less toxic than other marketed immunosuppressants in its class used for the prevention of transplant rejection. Experiments to date suggest that ISA 247 is about three times as potent as ciclosporin, while genotoxicity studies in animals have shown that the compound has a significantly reduced tendency to cause renal toxicity. The combination of reduced toxicity and improved potency would give ISA 247 a therapeutic benefit over existing calcineurin-based treatments. Isotechnika and Roche entered into a co-development and commercialisation agreement in April 2002, with Roche gaining the exclusive worldwide marketing rights for ISA 247; Isotechnika received milestone payments of $US4 million and $CAN21.9 million in September 2002 and May 2003, respectively. The agreement was restructured in April 2004, under which Isotechnika will now solely manage and fund the clinical development of trans-ISA 247. Upon successful completion of these trials, Isotechnika will conduct at its own expense a phase IIb study in renal transplantation and phase III studies in psoriasis. Roche will have the right to opt-in to the development and commercialisation of trans-ISA 247 for transplant indications up to the end of the phase IIb renal transplantation trial. Isotechnika retains all rights to develop and commercialise the product outside of transplant indications. Under an agreement signed with Cellgate Inc. on 25 April 2006, Isotechnika has the option to obtain an exclusive licence to develop and commercialise conjugates consisting of Cellgate's patented transporter technology, for the topical delivery of ISA 247 in patients with mild-to-moderate psoriasis. Cellgate will perform studies to evaluate the feasibility of using their technology to topically deliver ISA 247. In return, Isotechnika will pay Cellgate Inc. a total of $US500 000, with $US100 000 paid upfront, and the remainder at predetermined time points. Upon successful completion of the studies, Isotechnika has the option to further develop and commercialise conjugates for topical delivery of ISA 247. Isotechnika and Atrium Medical Corporation announced an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for ISA 247 alone and in combination with TAFA 93 with respect to drug-eluting devices, in September 2005. Atrium's implantable products include those for the local, non-systemic treatment of vascular and cardiovascular disorders, soft tissue repair and other disorders. In May 2006, Isotechnika licensed ISA 247 to Lux Biosciences for ophthalmic indications. Under terms of the agreement, Lux Biosciences obtains the exclusive worldwide marketing rights to ISA 247 for treatment and prophylaxis of all ophthalmic indications. The company will be responsible for development, registration and marketing of the drug for ophthalmic indications and will make upfront and milestone payments to Isotechnika in addition to royalties on any sales. Isotechnika formalised a manufacturing agreement with Swiss-based Lonza Ltd in June 2004. Under the terms of the agreement, Lonza will manufacture sufficient quantities of trans-ISA 247 in a GMP environment for use in the company's upcoming clinical trials. Isotechnika completed the phase III SPIRIT trial of ISA 247 for psoriasis in Canada. The randomised, double-blind trial compared the efficacy of three doses of ISA 247 (0.2 mg/kg [low dose], 0.3 mg/kg [mid dose] and 0.4 mg/kg [high dose] twice daily) with placebo, with equal numbers of patients assigned to each of the four groups. Subsequent to the first 12 weeks, those patients who received placebo moved into the mid-dose group for the remaining 12 weeks of the study. Patients already receiving ISA 247 remained in their respective dosing groups for the final 12 weeks of the trial. Patients completing the 24-week SPIRIT trial were given the opportunity to continue therapy for an addditonal 36 weeks or to discontinue therapy. Those patients who chose to enrol in the extension trial were moved from the 0.2 mg/kg bid (low-dose) or 0.4 mg/kg bid (high-dose) groups into the the 0.3 bid mg/kg bid (mid dose) group. Patients who commenced the SPIRIT trial in the mid-dose group remained on the same dosage regimen for the duration of the extension trial. The goal of the extension trial is to demonstrate continued therapeutic benefit to psoriasis patients while gathering long-term safety data. So far, data has been received on 193 patients receiving treatment for a total of 48 weeks. A phase IIa trial investigating the safety and efficacy of ISA 247 in renal transplantation was completed in the US and Canada in January 2003. The trial compared ISA 247 with ciclosporin (Neoral in approximately 130 stable renal transplant patients who underwent transplantation at least 6 months prior to enrolment; patient recruitment was completed in October 2002. Half of the patients were treated with ciclosporin and the other half received ISA 247 over a 90-day period. An extension trial was then initiated in which another 200 patients were treated with ISA 247 for up to 6 months from the time of transplantation. Results from the trial were reported. All endpoints were achieved in a multiple ascending dose study of trans-ISA 247 in November 2004. The study, initiated in June 2004, was conducted by SFBC Anapharm in Montreal, Canada and involved 43 healthy volunteers. Final dosing recommendations are to be determined in phase III trials in patients with psoriasis. Interim results reported in September 2004, of a double-blind, parallel-group, placebo and moxifloxacin controlled, randomised single-dose QTc trial in healthy volunteers, showed no evidence of QTc prolongation when trans-ISA 247 was administered at therapeutic doses. A single ascending dose (SAD) trial for trans-ISA 247 was completed in July 2004. The SAD trial was conducted among healthy volunteers to assess the appropriate dosage of trans-ISA 247 for further clinical evaluations. The trial commenced in March 2004 with approximately 46 subjects enrolled under the supervision of MDS Pharma Services in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Isotechnika received US FDA approval for the SAD trial in February 2004. A European patent (No. EP 0 991 660) entitled 'Deuterated and Undeuterated Cyclosporine Analgoues and Their Use as Immunomodulating Agents' was issued to Isotechnika for ISA 247, in October 2006. A US patent entitled 'Novel Cyclosporin Analogue Formulations' was issued to Isotechnika (No. 7 060 672) for ISA 247 in June 2006. The patent claims have been filed in 36 countries, and in the US it is the first patent to be issued in this patent family. Isotechnika was issued a US patent (No. 6 998 385, entitled 'Cyclosporine Analogue Mixtures and their use as Immunomodulating Agents') in February 2006 covering mixtures of cis- and trans- isomers of ISA 257. This patent is the first US patent to be issued in this family of patents. These patent claims have been filed in 36 countries. Three patents relating to this claim were previously issued in the following countries; Morocco (No. 26337 issued 1 October 2004); Pakistan (No. 138338 issued 30 September 2004) and South Africa (No. 2004/2270 issued 25 May 2005). A US patent (No 6 686 454) was issued in February 2004 entitled 'Antibodies to Specific Regions of Cyclosporine Related Compounds'. This patent covers a novel, simple and cost-effective assay used in the use and management of ISA 247. It also received another US patent entitled 'Deuterated Cyclosporine Analogs and their Use as Immunomodulating Agents'. Isotechnika has received patents for chemical composition of ISA 247 in New Zealand (November 2001; New Zealand Patent No. 502362), Canada (December 2001; Canadian Patent No. 2 298 572), South Korea (June 2006; South Korean Patent No. 585348) and Australia (November 2002; Australian Patent No. 750245). In addition, Isotechnika announced in August 2003 that it had been granted US patent No. 6 605 593, entitled 'Deuterated Ciclosporine Analogs and their use as Immunomodulating Agents'. An additional US patent covering ISA 247 was granted in September 2003.

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