Ask the CEO – 5

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How safe is MP1032? And why is that so important to us?

Dr. Wolfgang Brysch
Dr. Wolfgang Brysch

Our Phase II clinical trial in psoriasis is almost completed. And we are especially interested in one question: Has the good safety profile from our previous studies been confirmed? Nobody wants avoidable side effects. But does it really make sense that we place so much emphasis on a good safety profile in the development of MP1032? 

When I started working in medical research, my colleagues and I had a different goal altogether: maximum efficacy. We wanted to find drugs that showed the strongest possible biological effects. From the petri dish all the way to the patient. At that time, all developers did research like that; at universities, in companies, or in my case, at the Max Planck Institute. We hardly thought about the fact that this mindset has a downside – strong effects often go hand in hand with strong side effects.

The consequences can be seen to this day. In the last thirty years, many highly effective drugs have  entered the market. But fewer and fewer people can be treated with them. The side effects are usually so severe, that they are only given to patients in the advanced stages. Those who are mildly ill have to wait until the actual symptoms become worse than the anticipated side effects. Then the unpleasant assessment has to be made which of the two evils weighs more heavily. Usually you have to find out by trial and error. 

This strategy of ever more specialized pharmaceuticals with maximum medical potency also has consequences for our healthcare systems. Ever smaller patient groups have to fund the development of new drugs. Therapies will inevitably become more expensive for them. In our industry, growth is often limited to prices. As a result, health insurers and patients have slowly but surely reached the limits of their financial capacity.

All this may have caused a paradigm shift. If I had had discussions with potential pharmaceutical partners thirty years ago, they would have primarily asked me about the pharmacological potency, i.e. the efficiency, of MP1032. 

Today, the conversations almost always revolve around something else: our mechanism of action. About the self-regulating mechanism of MP1032 and the resulting safety for patients. 

This shows that many experts share our assessment: The safety of MP1032 will be the key to our success in the huge segment of treating incipient and moderate disease stages. Effective therapies for chronic inflammation are already available today. And although MP1032 has proven to be effective from the preclinical stage, to our exploratory Phase IIa study, – safety and fewer side effects would be the true breakthrough for MetrioPharm.

So far, all studies have confirmed our assumptions about the safety of MP1032. And our observations in the current psoriasis study also point into this direction. We are looking forward to the upcoming results, excited and optimistic.