CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and LONDON, June 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evelo Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: EVLO) a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a new modality of orally delivered, systemically acting biologic therapies, announced today that EDP1815 will be included in the TACTIC-E clinical trial. The trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of certain experimental therapies in the prevention and treatment of life-threatening complications associated with COVID-19 in hospitalized patients at early stages of the disease. The trial’s lead investigator is Dr Joseph Cheriyan, Consultant Clinical Pharmacologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, and is sponsored by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
TACTIC-E is a Phase 2/3 randomised trial which will evaluate up to 469 patients per arm at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and other leading UK clinical centres. The trial will enrol patients with COVID-19 who have identified risk factors for developing severe complications and are at risk of progression to the intensive care unit or death. Eligible patients will be randomised equally to either one of the active arms or treated with standard of care alone. Patients in arm 1 will be dosed with EDP1815 in addition to standard of care; patients in arm 2 will be dosed with a combination of ambrisentan and dapagliflozin in addition to standard of care; and patients in arm 3 will be treated with standard of care only. The primary outcome measure is a reduction in the number of patients who develop severe complications of organ failure, ventilation, or death. Secondary outcome measures include duration of stay in hospital, duration of oxygen therapy, changes in biomarkers associated with COVID-19 progression, and time to clinical improvement. Interim analyses will be performed over the course of the trial to evaluate results for signals of safety and efficacy.
Interim data from the trial are anticipated during the fourth quarter of 2020. If the Phase 2/3 data are positive, Evelo plans to engage in discussions with global regulatory agencies to determine if the data support registration.
Scientific and Clinical Rationale for EDP1815 in COVID-19
The progression to severe COVID-19 is associated with cytokine storm and hyperinflammation. Based on data from a Phase 1b clinical trial in psoriasis, EDP1815 has the potential to modulate multiple immune pathways associated with cytokine storm and resolve the inflammation without the risks associated with immunosuppression.
In a Phase 1b clinical trial in psoriasis, EDP1815 limited the production of multiple inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, IL-8, TNF, and IL-1b. It was well tolerated with no overall difference from placebo. In preclinical models, EDP1815 resolved inflammation across TH1, TH2, and TH17 pathways. This led to down-regulation of multiple cytokines including TNF, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-12p40, IL-13, and IL-17. Several of these cytokines have been implicated in the cytokine storm associated with severe complications of COVID-19. In these models, no activity was observed on type 1 interferons, which are important for anti-viral responses.
EDP1815 is designed to harness the connections between intestinal mucosal immunology and systemic inflammation for broad inflammation resolution without immunosuppression. It is potentially unique amongst therapies currently being tested in COVID-19 patients for this mechanism of action, which, if approved, could result in a safe, effective, oral, and affordable product.
If EDP1815 is approved for the treatment of COVID-19, Evelo could rapidly scale its manufacturing to supply the drug at a reasonable cost. Additionally, if the COVID-19 trial is successful, the Company plans to investigate EDP1815 as a potential therapy for other diseases, such as influenza, in which cytokine storm and hyperinflammation play a role.
TACTIC-E is a platform Phase 2/3 trial in the UK that targets patients hospitalised with COVID-19 who are at high-risk of progression to the intensive care unit (ICU) and/or death. TACTIC-E will evaluate unlicensed drugs and novel combinations of licensed drugs with sufficient pre-clinical and clinical data to suggest a positive benefit-risk ratio in the treatment of COVID-19.
Update on EDP1815-205
In addition to the TACTIC-E trial, an Investigational New Drug (IND) application has been submitted for an Evelo-sponsored Phase 2 clinical trial, EDP1815-205, evaluating the safety and efficacy of EDP1815 for the treatment of hospitalised patients with newly diagnosed COVID-19 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. On June 17, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a clinical hold letter directing Evelo to make certain revisions to the protocol for the trial, including alterations to the inclusion criteria for enrollment. The Company intends to amend the protocol to address the FDA’s comments and, provided the FDA agrees that the issues are adequately addressed, anticipates initiating the trial in July 2020, with data in 4Q 2020.
About Evelo Biosciences
Evelo Biosciences is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing oral biologics that act on SINTAX™, the small intestinal axis, with systemic therapeutic effects. SINTAX plays a central role in governing the immune, metabolic and neurological systems. The company’s first product candidates are pharmaceutical preparations of single strains of microbes selected for defined pharmacological properties. Evelo’s therapies have the potential to be effective, safe, and affordable medicines to improve the lives of people with inflammatory diseases and cancer.
Evelo currently has four product candidates in development: EDP1815, EDP1867, and EDP2939 for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, and EDP1503 for the treatment of cancer. Evelo is advancing additional product candidates in other disease areas.
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