CPI-444

This compound was originally investigated as a potential new treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

In February 2015, the Company licensed exclusive world-wide rights in our adenosine receptor agonist programme, including the lead molecule CPI-444 (previously V81444), to Corvus for use in all therapeutic applications.

Corvus is looking to develop CPI-444 for immuno-oncology with clinical studies expected in 2016.

Description

This next generation antagonist was originally discovered by Vernalis. In June 2004, Vernalis and Biogen Idec entered into an agreement whereby Biogen Idec would develop molecules within the adenosine A2A receptor antagonist programme in exchange for milestone payments and subsequent royalties on future sales. Vernalis successfully regained the programme in April 2011.

  • Generated from in-house research programme
  • Programme successfully regained from Biogen Idec in April 2011
  • Partnered with Corvus in February 2015

Rationale for using A2A in immuno-oncology

A2A receptors have been identified on a range of immune and inflammatory cell types including macrophages, dendritic cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, T cells and NK cells. The binding of adenosine to A2A receptors suppresses the effector functions of these immune cells.  Antagonism of A2A signalling has been demonstrated to increase anti-tumour immunity predominantly through the enhancement of CD8+ T cell and NK cell depedent cytotoxicity.



Background

A2A receptors have been identified on a range of immune and inflammatory cell types including macrophages, dendritic cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, T cells and NK cells. The binding of adenosine to A2A receptors suppresses the effector functions of these immune cells.  Antagonism of A2A signalling has been demonstrated to increase anti-tumour immunity predominantly through the enhancement of CD8+ T cell and NK cell depedent cytotoxicity.


Pre-clinical studies

Pre-clinical studies were completed in readiness for Phase I.


Clinical studies

This programme was initially being investigated for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease.

Phase I SAD/MAD study was successfully completed in May 2012. A receptor occupancy study was initiated in August 2012, with positive results reported in December 2012.

Data from these studies was presented at the World Congress of Neurology meeting in August 2013.

In mid-2013, a Phase Ib/II POC combined safety/tolerability and pharmacokinetic study was initiated to explore the properties of the compound following twice daily dosing in adult patients with ADHD, including measuring the efficacy of V81444 using the ADHD Rating Scale (primary measure), PERMP-P measure and CGI assessment (secondary measures). The efficacy measures were conducted using the AWE Model.

Positive results of this study were announced in April 2014 showing V81444 achieved significant improvement in the number of correct scores in PERMP measure (P=0.9) compared to placebo. Although not statistically significant, V81444 also showed improvements in both ADHD Rating Scale and CGI. There were no drug related serious adverse events and no other new or significant safety findings.

In February 2015, the Company licensed the compound to Corvus.  The lead molecule, CPI-444, is a patented small molecule that has been evaluated in Phase I and II trials under an IND in the US.  Corvus is looking to develop the compound for immuno-oncology, with clinical studies expected in 2016.


Project Status

Originally discovered by Vernalis, pre-clinical studies were completed by Biogen Idec in a partnership established in June 2004. Vernalis successfully regained the rights to the programme in April 2011. With Phase I SAD/MAD and receptor occupancy studies successfully completed, Vernalis initiated a Phase Ib/II proof-of-concept study in 2013. Positive results of this study were announced in April 2014 showing V81444 achieved significant improvement in the number of correct scores in PERMP measure (P=0.9) compared to placebo. Although not statistically significant, V81444 also showed improvements in both ADHD Rating Scale and CGI. There were no drug related serious adverse events and no other new or significant safety findings.

In February 2015, the Company licensed exclusive, worldwide rights in its adenosine receptor antagonist (A2A) programme for use in all therapeutic applications to Corvus, a US-based biotechnolgoy company. At the time, the name of the company was not disclosed and nor was the initial therapeutic focus. Corvus was launched through a $33.5 million Series A fundraising in 2014 by the founder and former senior management at Pharmacyclics Inc. and it raised a further $75 million (Series B) in September 2015.

The lead molecule, CPI-444, is a patented small molecule that has been evaluated in Phase I and II trials under an IND in the US. Corvus brings a wealth of clinical and commercial expertise and experience and is looking to develop the CPI-444 for immuno-oncology, with clinical studies expected in 2016.


 

Latest News

Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 31 December 2016

Vernalis plc (LSE: VER) today announces its unaudited consolidated results for the six month period ended 31 December 2016. 

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To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Vernalis Therapeutics, Inc. at 1-855-705-9546 and drugsafety@propharmagroup.com or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch