VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CSE: AGN) (FRANKFURT: AGW) (OTCQB: AGNPF) (the “Company” or “Algernon”) a clinical stage pharmaceutical development company, is pleased to announce that it has received a No Objection Letter from Health Canada to proceed with a NP-120 (Ifenprodil) COVID-19 Phase 2b/3 multinational clinical trial. The same study protocol is being prepared for submission to the U.S. FDA and Australian regulatory authorities.

“The study is an adaptive pilot to pivotal trial design based on guidance documents from the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine if Ifenprodil can improve clinical symptoms of COVID-19 by reducing the number of COVID-19 diagnosed patients from progressing to mechanical ventilation with intubation and death,” said Dr. Mark William’s, Algernon’s CSO.

The trial will begin as a Phase 2b study and after an interim analysis is performed on the first 100 patients, the data will determine the number of expected patients needed to reach statistical significance in a Phase 3 trial. With positive preliminary data, the clinical trial will move directly from a Phase 2b into a Phase 3.

“We are very excited to have received clearance for our Phase 2b/3 study,” said Christopher J. Moreau CEO of Algernon. “We will begin to work immediately to get all aspects of the trial organized so that we can start as soon as possible including filing an IND for this same study with the U.S. FDA.”

The Company cautions that while it is preparing to begin a Phase 2 clinical trial shortly in South Korea and Canada, it is not making any express or implied claims that NP-120 (Ifenprodil) is an effective treatment for acute lung injury (ALI), the COVID-19 virus, or any other medical condition at this time.

Phase 2b/3 Study Protocol Overview

The trial will begin as a Phase 2b study enrolling 100 patients with moderate/severe disease, which corresponds with a score of 4 or 5 on the WHO ordinal clinical scale. Patients will be randomized in a 1:1 fashion to receive either standard of care (SOC) or SOC and Ifenprodil 20 mg (three times per day) for a two-week treatment period. An improvement in the ordinal clinical scale is the initial primary endpoint and a number of secondary endpoints including mortality, blood oxygen levels, time in the ICU and time to mechanical ventilation will be studied.  

About NP-120 (Ifenprodil)

NP-120 (Ifenprodil) is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist specifically targeting the NMDA-type subunit 2B (Glu2NB). Ifenprodil prevents glutamate signalling. The NMDA receptor is found on many tissues including lung cells and T-cells, neutrophils.

The Company believes NP-120 can reduce the infiltration of neutrophils and T-cells into the lungs where they can release glutamate and cytokines respectively. The latter can result in the highly problematic cytokine storm that contributes to the loss of lung function and ultimately death as has been reported in COVID-19 infected patients. 

About Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. 

Algernon is a drug re-purposing company that investigates safe, already approved drugs for new disease applications, moving them efficiently and safely into new human trials, developing new formulations and seeking new regulatory approvals in global markets. Algernon specifically investigates compounds that have never been approved in the U.S. or Europe to avoid off label prescription writing.

Algernon has filed new intellectual property rights globally for NP-120 (Ifenprodil) for the treatment of respiratory diseases and is working to develop a proprietary injectable and slow release formulation.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Christopher J. Moreau
CEO
Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc.
604.398.4175 ext 701
info@algernonpharmaceuticals.com
investors@algernonpharmaceuticals.com
www.algernonpharmaceuticals.com

The CSE does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Market Regulator (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. The Canadian Securities Exchange has not in any way passed upon the merits of the proposed transaction and has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.

CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: No Securities Exchange has reviewed nor accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release. This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to product development, licensing, commercialization and regulatory compliance issues and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expects” and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include the failure to satisfy the conditions of the relevant securities exchange(s) and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulations. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements as expressly required by applicable law.