Covagen’s first clinical trials05.05.2014 10:24
Covagen works with so-called FynomAbs which allow to develop therapeutics with novel modes-of-action and enhanced efficacy in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. The first FynomAb is now entering clinical trials. COVA322 is a compound developed for treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Covagen today announced it has initiated a Phase Ib/IIa study with COVA322, a bispecific TNF/IL-17A inhibitor. COVA322 is Covagen's lead bispecific FynomAb developed for treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. The trial will enroll 39 patients with psoriasis and evaluate safety as well as biological activity of COVA322. Enrollment in the trial and dosing of COVA322 has begun for the first cohort of patients.
"With COVA322, Covagen has moved its first proprietary FynomAb into the clinic," said Mathias Locher, Ph.D., chief development officer of Covagen. "COVA322 has a novel mechanism of action by simultaneously inhibiting both TNF and IL-17A. This dual inhibition has the potential to result in superior efficacy compared to current treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and other inflammatory diseases."
Julian Bertschinger, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Covagen added: "We believe this first clinical study with COVA322 in psoriasis patients may indicate its significant potential to improve the treatment of inflammatory diseases and help to validate the capabilities of our proprietary bispecific FynomAb platform. We expect to have top-line data in the first quarter of 2015."
The primary aim of the Phase Ib/IIa trial is to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of a single ascending dose of COVA322. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study will be conducted in Germany in 39 patients with psoriasis. Secondary endpoints include readouts on psoriatic skin lesions as well as biological responses measured in skin biopsies.
Covagen is a clinical stage company that develops bispecific FynomAbs by fusing its human Fynomer binding proteins to antibodies resulting in therapeutics with novel modes-of-action and enhanced efficacy in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. Fynomers are small binding proteins that can be engineered to bind an antigen of interest. The ability to fuse Fynomers to multiple sites on an antibody allows Covagen to create FynomAbs with tailored architectures to maximize efficacy. Covagen is a privately held Swiss Biotech company with an internal lead bispecific anti-TNF/IL-17A FynomAb COVA322. In 2012, Covagen entered into a strategic alliance, which was recently expanded, with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation for the development of bispecific FynomAbs. In December 2013 and February 2014, Covagen closed a Series B financing round with a total of CHF 45 million that primarily supports Phase I and Phase II developments of COVA322.