Innovation Pharmaceuticals Reports New In Vivo Antifungal Data Showing Brilacidin's Potential for Treating Fungal Keratitis
Additionally, Brilacidin to be Screened by NIH/NIAID to Further Characterize Its Broad-Spectrum Antifungal Activity
Wakefield, MA - (NewMediaWire) - December 13, 2022 - Innovation Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB:IPIX) (“the Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, today provided an update on ongoing research on the broad-spectrum antifungal activity of Brilacidin, the Company’s defensin mimetic drug candidate exhibiting antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties.
Previous research conducted primarily by scientists at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, showed Brilacidin can potentiate several marketed antifungals, including caspofungin, voriconazole and posaconazole. Moreover, Brilacidin exhibited potent stand-alone efficacy (MIC=2.5µM) against C. neoformans – a deadly fungus that causes an estimated 220,000 cases of cryptococcal meningitis worldwide each year and for which few effective treatments exist.
New in vivo data in an A. fumigatus murine fungal keratitis model showed Brilacidin reduced fungal burden and disease severity, while also improving corneal thickness compared to control. Brilacidin-treated corneas harbored almost no viable fungus, suggesting the compound suppressed fungal proliferation within the cornea. Worldwide, on an annual basis, fungal keratitis affects up to 1.5 million people, of whom 75 percent may lose an eye and/or their sight.
These new Brilacidin findings in fungal keratitis complement an earlier in vitro and in vivo evaluation of Brilacidin as an ocular anti-infective in bacterial keratitis. A broad-spectrum drug that could target both fungal and bacterial keratitis would be uniquely positioned as to its treatment profile and commercial potential.
Related, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published its Fungal Priority Pathogens List to spur research, development and policy interventions to strengthen the global response to fungal infections and antifungal resistance. Based on new in vitro testing, Brilacidin is exhibiting promising antifungal activity against many of these priority pathogens, including C. neoformans, A. fumigatus, C. albicans, Mucorales, Fusarium, Scedosporium spp., Lomentospora proflicans and C. krusei.
Planned next steps in Brilacidin antifungal research include extending in vitro and in vivo testing into additional clinical isolates and animal models, and publishing scientific findings. In collaboration with the NIH/NIAID’s mycology division, Brilacidin also is to be screened in multiple fungal species to further characterize its broad-spectrum antifungal activity. Future updates are planned.
About Antifungal Diseases 1, 2, 3
There are up to 5 million fungal species populating the earth, of which approximately 100,000 species have been identified. About 300 fungal species cause disease in humans. Overall, Candida, Cryptococcus and Aspergillus represent the main causative organisms of invasive fungal infections. There is a large unmet medical need for developing novel antifungal agents, particularly given the emergence of resistance in the clinical setting. The utility of current antifungal treatments is limited due to toxicity, fungistatic and not fungicidal properties, as well as drug interaction concerns. In the United States, antifungal drugs can qualify for expedited clinical development, under Qualified Infectious Disease Product designation, Orphan Drug designation, and the limited population pathway development program. Pivotal clinical trials for antifungal drugs, requiring between 300 and 600 patients, are generally smaller than those in other infectious disease areas. Caspofungin sales were estimated to be $414 million in 2021, with the global antifungal drugs market estimated at $14.8 billion in 2021 and expected to reach $20.5 billion by 2030.
1 Current Antimycotics, New Prospects, and Future Approaches to Antifungal Therapy
2 Global Caspofungin Market Research Report 2022 (Status and Outlook)
3 Antifungal Drugs Market Size to be worth $20.5 Billion by 2030: Grand View Research, Inc.
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About Innovation Pharmaceuticals
Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IPIX) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a portfolio of innovative therapies addressing multiple areas of unmet medical need, including inflammatory diseases, cancer, and infectious diseases. The Company is also active in evaluating other potential investment opportunities that can add value and diversify its portfolio.
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