Therapy Areas: Hereditary Disorders
Laurent Pharmaceuticals Extends COVID-19 Phase 2 Study with Oral Antiviral LAU-7b that has Showed 100% Reduction in the Risk of Progression onto Mechanical Ventilation and Death
15 December 2021 - - The US Food and Drug Administration has allowed the Phase 2 RESOLUTION study extension in hospitalized moderate-to-severe adult COVID-19 patients and the change of the primary endpoint to "proportion of patients requiring mechanical ventilation and/or death by Day 60," Canada-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Laurent Pharmaceuticals Inc said.

The company also said that the FDA has granted a Type B meeting request to discuss, among other topics, the eligibility to Emergency Use Authorization and Phase 3 clinical trials with LAU-7b in COVID-19, in both hospitalized and ambulatory settings.

The meeting will take place on January 14th, 2022, via conference call.

Results from the pilot portion of the RESOLUTION study, a well-controlled, randomized trial, showed a strong efficacy signal in the subgroup (n=148) of moderate-to-severe hospitalized COVID-19 patients, with LAU-7b plus standard of care demonstrating a 100% reduction in the risk of progressing to mechanical ventilation and death by Day 60, when compared to placebo plus standard of care.

More specifically, none of the 76 moderately to severely ill patients treated with LAU-7b plus standard of care progressed to mechanical ventilation or died, while five (5) progressed to mechanical ventilation (5/72, 6.9%, p=0.025), and four (4) patients died (4/72, 5.6%, p=0.053), in the placebo arm. The study drug was administered for 14 days on top of standard of care.

LAU-7b was well-tolerated, with a safety profile comparable to the placebo arm and consistent with the existing safety data.

In light of these promising findings, the RESOLUTION study protocol was amended to expand the enrollment and confirm the observed clinical benefit in hospitalized adult patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 disease.

The RESOLUTION Phase 2 program in COVID-19 is supported by the Canada government via the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, as well as by the Québec government via Investissement Québec.

LAU-7b is a novel oral form of fenretinide, an atypical retinoid that targets host cells membrane lipids involved in both viral replication and inflammatory response.

Reprogramming of the host cell membrane lipids metabolism is a key feature of virus-host interaction required for both virus entry and replication.

Fenretinide is believed to work by decreasing membrane fluidity required for virus entry and release, as well as reducing de novo lipid synthesis required for virus replication.

Because it acts on the host rather than the virus, it has potential for broad-spectrum antiviral activity regardless of mutations, as already demonstrated in vitro on multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants (including Delta and Gamma).

Fenretinide was also shown to trigger certain membrane phospholipid pathways involved in the resolution phase of inflammation, a natural mechanism that keeps the inflammatory response under control without inducing immune-suppression.

Laurent Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biotechnology company focusing on the modulation of cell membrane lipids for addressing complex conditions caused by an unbalanced immune-inflammatory response.

The company's lead drug candidate, LAU-7b, is a proprietary oral formulation based on fenretinide, an atypical retinoid with a well-documented safety profile established in more than 3,000 patients.

Existing data suggest that low-dose fenretinide has the potential to modulate certain membrane lipids and exerts antiviral, inflammatory-controlling, and antifibrotic properties.

LAU-7b is currently being evaluated as a potential therapeutic for COVID-19 and Cystic Fibrosis.


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