Background Discussion on MetrioPharm’s Preclinical COPD Study
MetrioPharm recently completed a study in a new preclinical model. What did this model look like?
Dr. Sara Schumann: For this initial study we chose an ex vivo model, in which the tests are performed on an isolated heart and lung system. During our experiment, the lung was exposed to cigarette smoke, thereby simulating smoking. In our model, as well as in humans, smoking leads to an increased formation of 3-nitrotyrosine, which can be detected in the lung tissue.
How did the results of the study pan out?
Dr. Sara Schumann: We were able to prove that the 3-nitrotyrosine levels were significantly lower when the lungs were treated with MP1032. In total we tested three doses of MP1032, resulting in an unequivocal dose dependence. At the highest dosage of MP1032 we could detect the same low 3-nitrotyrosine content as in the negative control without cigarette smoke. So you could say: The results could not have turned out any better in this model.
What can be learned from this simplified model?
Dr. Sara Schumann: It is a model for COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Clinical data suggest that 3-nitrotyrosine is not only a biomarker for this disease, but also has a functional effect on the disease process itself.
A treatment with MP1032 would therefore be suitable for COPD patients
Dr. Sara Schumann: Yes, there is certainly a very large potential worldwide, also because the incidences are rising continuously. COPD is, strictly speaking, not a single disease, but rather the generic term for a group of lung conditions. Although there are already therapeutic approaches for individual aspects of the disease, a causal drug, i.e. a possibility to treat the causes of COPD, does not yet exist. Since the increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is very fundamental for the development of the disease, we see great opportunities for an ROS scavenger, such as MP1032.
Why is MetrioPharm considering to develop MP1032 in a new dosage form after this study?
Dr. Sara Schumann: Since our initial results for COPD have been very positive, we are now looking at how real medical value could be created in the long term. There is a special feature in the treatment of lung diseases: It is possible to deliver the active substance directly to the target organ via the airways. This eliminates the systemic losses caused by dilution in the bloodstream. In short, we get high MP1032 concentrations directly to where they are needed.
Are you therefore planning to continue the development in COPD?
Dr. Sara Schumann: The results of this preclinical study are a promising start, now we have to plan possible next steps.