Auris Medical Provides Update on Ongoing Clinical Trials with Intranasal Betahistine


  • Last subject had last treatment visit in Phase 1b trial with AM-201 in prevention of antipsychotic-induced weight gain and somnolence; data read-out expected for early May 2020
  • Phase 2 trial with AM-125 in treatment of acute peripheral vertigo progressing towards interim analysis in Q2 2020

Hamilton, Bermuda, March 5, 2020 – Auris Medical Holding Ltd. (NASDAQ: EARS), a clinical-stage company dedicated to developing therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs in neurotology and central nervous system disorders, today provided an update on its ongoing clinical trials with intranasal betahistine.

In the Phase 1b trial with AM-201, intranasal betahistine for the prevention of antipsychotic-induced weight gain and somnolence, the last subject just had its last treatment visit. In total, the trial enrolled 80 healthy volunteers who received either AM-201 or placebo concomitantly with the antipsychotic drug olanzapine over four weeks. The study is testing six different doses of AM-201 under a dose escalation protocol. The primary efficacy outcome for the study will be the reduction in weight gain and the secondary outcome will be the reduction in somnolence. The Company expects to report top-line data in early May 2020, in accordance with previous guidance.    

Meanwhile, the Phase 2 trial with AM-125, intranasal betahistine for the treatment of acute peripheral vertigo, is progressing towards the interim analysis, which is expected in the second quarter of 2020. The positive safety data obtained in the Phase 1b trial with AM-201 allowed for a reduction in the scope of the dose escalation. In addition to the ongoing intranasal dose escalation, open label testing of oral betahistine for reference purposes has commenced. Following the interim analysis in the second quarter, the Company expects to initiate Part B of the trial, which plans to enroll 72 patients for treatment with either a high or a low dose of AM-125 or placebo.

“We look forward to sharing the results from our two intranasal betahistine trials during the second quarter of 2020,” commented Thomas Meyer, Auris Medical’s founder, Chairman and CEO. “Following positive interim data from the AM-201 trial in October, we will be keen to see the results obtained with the 30 mg dose, the final and highest level which was tested in 30 additional subjects. In our AM-125 trial, we expect the interim analysis to provide important insights into the dose response in acute peripheral vertigo which will help to inform the selection of doses for the larger second part of the trial.”

The Company expects to report its 2019 second-half and full year results and to provide a general business update on March 19, 2020.

About Betahistine

Betahistine is a small molecule structural analog of histamine, which acts as an agonist at the H1 and as an antagonist at the H3 histamine receptors. Unlike histamine, it crosses the blood-brain-barrier. It is known to enhance inner ear and cerebral blood flow, increase histamine turnover and enhance histamine release in the brain, increase release of acetylcholine, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain and to result in general brain arousal. The compound has a very good safety profile, yet it is also known that its clinical utility is held back by poor bioavailability. Intranasal administration of betahistine has been shown to result in 5 to 29 times higher bioavailability.

About AM-125

Intranasal betahistine is being developed under project code AM-125 for the treatment of acute vertigo. Betahistine has been shown to increase cochlear, vestibular and cerebral blood flow, facilitate vestibular compensation and inhibit neuronal firing in the vestibular nuclei. Betahistine for oral administration is approved in about 115 countries, with the US being a notable exception, for the treatment of vertigo and Meniere’s disease.

About AM-201

Intranasal betahistine is being developed under project code AM-201 for the prevention of antipsychotic-induced weight gain and somnolence. Many antipsychotic drugs are known to block the H1 histamine receptor, which is involved in the control of appetite and wakefulness, resulting in weight gain and somnolence as side effects. As an H1 receptor agonist, betahistine is thought to counteract the antipsychotics’ inhibitory effects; in addition, betahistine blocks presynaptic H3 histamine autoreceptors, thus increasing histamine release and in turn augmenting betahistine’s direct agonistic effects on H1 receptors.

About Auris Medical

Auris Medical is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs in neurotology and CNS disorders. The company is focused on the development of intranasal betahistine for the treatment of vertigo (AM-125) and for the prevention of antipsychotic-induced weight gain and somnolence (AM-201). These projects have gone through two Phase 1 trials and moved into proof-of-concept studies in 2019. In addition Auris Medical has two Phase 3 programs under development: Sonsuvi® (AM-111) for acute inner ear hearing loss and Keyzilen® (AM-101) for acute inner ear tinnitus. The Company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda with its main operations in Basel, Switzerland. The shares of Auris Medical Holding Ltd. trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “EARS.”

Forward-looking Statements

This press release may contain statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical facts and may include statements that address future operating, financial or business performance or Auris Medical’s strategies or expectations. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may”, “might”, “will”, “should”, “expects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “estimates”, “predicts”, “projects”, “potential”, “outlook” or “continue”, or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, Auris Medical’s need for and ability to raise substantial additional funding to continue the development of its product candidates, the ability to pursue strategic partnering and non-dilutive funding for its Phase 3 programs, the results of Auris Medical’s review of strategic options and the outcome of any action taken as a result of such review, the timing and conduct of clinical trials of Auris Medical’s product candidates, the clinical utility of Auris Medical’s product candidates, the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals, Auris Medical’s intellectual property position and Auris Medical’s financial position, including the impact of any future acquisitions, dispositions, partnerships, license transactions or changes to Auris Medical’s capital structure, including future securities offerings. These risks and uncertainties also include, but are not limited to, those described under the caption “Risk Factors” in Auris Medical’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2018, and in Auris Medical's other filings with the SEC, which are available free of charge on the Securities Exchange Commission's website at: Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated. All forward-looking statements and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Auris Medical or to persons acting on behalf of Auris Medical are expressly qualified in their entirety by reference to these risks and uncertainties. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Auris Medical does not undertake any obligation to update them in light of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable law.

Investor contact:
Joseph Green
Edison Advisor for Auris Medical