CINCINNATI, Nov. 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.("Aerpio") (Nasdaq: ARPO), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing compounds that activate Tie2 to treat ocular diseases and diabetic complications, as well as other indications in which the Company believes that activation of Tie2 may have therapeutic potential, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (“ARDS”) associated with COVID-19 infections, announced that it will host a key opinion leader (KOL) call on new therapeutic agents for the treatment of COVID-19 on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 11am Eastern Time.
The webinar will feature presentations by KOLs Samir Parikh, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess/Harvard Medical School, and Wesley Self, MD, Vanderbilt University, who will discuss COVID-19-associated pulmonary and vascular pathology and the potential of Tie2 activation for treating COVID-19 and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Drs. Parikh and Self will be available to answer questions following the formal presentations.
The Aerpio management team will also provide an overview of razuprotafib, a novel small molecule Tie2 activator that enhances endothelial function and stabilizes blood vessels, including pulmonary and renal vasculature. Aerpio is currently testing the hypothesis that razuprotafib can reduce the severity of COVID-19, resulting in fewer patients requiring ventilator support, decreased time in ICU on ventilator support and more rapid and complete recovery with concomitant mortality reduction.
Two Phase 2 clinicals trials, I-SPY COVID-19 and RESCUE, are actively recruiting COVID-19 patients, with updates expected in the first half of 2021.
Samir Parikh, MD is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a physician in the Division of Nephrology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Parikh graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in chemistry and received the Founder’s Medal from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed post-graduate training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. His research is focused on the discovery and translation of molecular mechanisms underlying acute kidney injury and sepsis. Ongoing studies are examining the intersection of metabolic and vascular signaling in the kidney and exploring mechanistic links among aging, acute organ dysfunction, and chronic disease. Dr. Parikh has been inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). He has received the Sir William Osler Award (2018), the NIH/NHLBI's Outstanding Investigator Award (2019), and the AHA/ASN's Donald Seldin Award (2019). He currently chairs the DSMB for NIH/NIDDK's COVID studies.
Wesley Self, MD is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a practicing emergency physician, and clinical trialist who specializes in critical care clinical trials. He leads a team of investigators and study personnel who have successfully led numerous clinical trials during the past decade in ARDS, sepsis and pneumonia. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic he has been leading epidemiologic studies and clinical trials in COVID-19. He is the principal investigator of the CDC-funded IVY Network, which has enrolled thousands of COVID-19 patients and healthcare workers who care for COVID-19 patients into clinical studies. These studies have demonstrated a high prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections among frontline healthcare workers (MMWR 2020) and rapid declines in antibody levels within weeks of recovery from acute infection (JAMA 2020). He was also the principal investigator of the NIH-funded ORCHID clinical trial, with was a 34-site multicenter randomized trial that demonstrated hydroxychloroquine was not an effective therapy for adults hospitalized with COVID-19. He is also a steering committee member for ongoing NIH-funded trials evaluating monoclonal antibody therapies for COVID-19 and the science unit advising the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on the development of COVID-19 trials. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was a leader in several high-impact clinical trials, including the EPIC Pneumonia study (N Engl J Med 2015), SALT-ED trial (N Engl J Med 2018), SMART trial (N Eng J Med 2018), PREVENT trial (N Engl J Med 2019), VIOLET trial (N Engl J Med 2019), and CODA trial (N Engl J Med 2020). Dr Self has published over 160 peer reviewed manuscripts, was named one of the top 90 pneumonia researchers in the world, and received the 2018 Vanderbilt University Chancellor’s Award for Research, which is the most prestigious annual research award at the university.
About Aerpio Pharmaceuticals
Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing compounds that activate Tie2 to treat ocular diseases and diabetic complications, as well as other indications in which the Company believes that activation of Tie2 may have therapeutic potential, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (“ARDS”) associated with COVID-19 infections. Recently published mouse and human genetic data implicate the Angpt/Tie2 pathway in maintenance of Schlemm’s canal, a critical component of the conventional outflow tract. The Company’s lead compound, razuprotafib (formerly AKB-9778), a first-in-class small molecule inhibitor of vascular endothelial protein tyrosine phosphatase (“VE-PTP”), is being developed as a potential treatment for open angle glaucoma, and the Company intends to investigate the therapeutic potential of razuprotafib in other indications.. The Company is also evaluating development options for ARP-1536, a humanized monoclonal antibody, for its therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic vascular complications including nephropathy and diabetic macular edema (“DME”). The Company’s third asset is a bispecific antibody that binds both VEGF and VE-PTP which is designed to inhibit VEGF activation and activate Tie2. This bispecific antibody has the potential to be an improved treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration and DME via intravitreal injection. Finally, the Company has exclusively out-licensed AKB-4924 (now called GB004), a first-in-class small molecule inhibitor of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF). GB004 is being developed by AKB-4924’s exclusive licensor, Gossamer Bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOSS). For more information, please visit www.aerpio.com.
About Razuprotafib (formerly known as AKB-9778)
Razuprotafib binds to and inhibits vascular endothelial protein tyrosine phosphatase (VE-PTP), an important negative regulator of Tie2. Decreased Tie2 activity contributes to vascular instability in many diseases including diabetes and more recently has been shown to contribute to the development of increased IOP and glaucoma. Razuprotafib activates the Tie2 receptor irrespective of extracellular levels of its binding ligands, angiopoietin-1 (agonist) or angiopoietin-2 (antagonist) and may be the most efficient pharmacologic approach to maintain normal Tie2 activation. Aerpio is studying a topical ocular formulation of razuprotafib in open angle glaucoma and exploring the utility of subcutaneous razuprotafib for diabetic complications, including diabetic nephropathy. In addition, a subcutaneous formulation of razuprotafib is being explored for its therapeutic potential in treating or preventing ARDS associated with COVID-19.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Statements in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, the Company’s product candidates, including razuprotafib, ARP-1536 and the bispecific antibody asset, the clinical development plan therefor and the therapeutic potential thereof, the Company’s plans and expectations with respect to razuprotafib and the development therefor and therapeutic potential thereof in addressing COVID-19 and the intended benefits from the Company’s collaboration with Gossamer Bio for GB004, including the continued development of GB004 and the milestone and royalty payments related to the collaboration. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to several risk factors. Such factors include, among others, the continued development of GB004 and maintaining and deriving the intended benefits of the Company’s collaboration with Gossamer Bio; ability to continue to develop razuprotafib or other product candidates, including in indications related to COVID-19; the inherent uncertainties associated with the drug development process, including uncertainties in regulatory interactions, the design of planned or future clinical trials, commencing clinical trials and enrollment of patients in clinical trials; obtaining any necessary regulatory clearances in order to commence and conduct planned or future clinical trials; the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business operations, including research and development efforts and the ability of the Company to commence, conduct and complete its planned clinical activities; and competition in the industry in which the Company operates and overall market conditions; and the additional factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our other subsequent filings with the SEC.
These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements, except as required by law. Investors should consult all the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factor disclosure set forth in the reports and other documents the Company files with the SEC available at www.sec.gov.
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