Noorik Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. (“Noorik”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company repurposing micro-dose ambrisentan for the treatment of kidney, liver, and respiratory diseases, signed a contract with the Federal Government of Switzerland to develop ambrisentan as a treatment for patients with Severe COVID-19. The investment, under the Federal Funding Programme for COVID-19 Medicines initiative, will enable the acceleration of the clinical development of ambrisentan. The contract will entitle the Federal Government of Switzerland to certain benefits and ensure prompt access to this potentially life-saving therapy.
Micro-dose ambrisentan is currently under clinical evaluation in adult patients with Severe COVID-19 (Clinicaltrials.gov - NCT04771000). The primary objective of the ongoing trial is to determine whether ambrisentan can prevent the progression to respiratory failure and reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, among others.
“There is a significant unmet medical need in treatment options for patients hospitalised with Severe or Critical COVID-19. As the evidence of the vascular complications of SARS-CoV-2 mounts, Acute Pulmonary Hypertension may be one potential factor affecting respiratory function in patients with Severe and Critical COVID-19. We believe that micro-dose ambrisentan, a pulmonary vasodilator, may provide considerable relief to some of these patients” commented Elmar Schnee, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Noorik. “The signing of this agreement with the Government of Switzerland will enable us to accelerate the development of ambrisentan and hopefully make this therapy broadly available as soon as possible.”
The press release of the Federal Office of Public Health can be accessed through the following link.
ABOUT NOORIKNoorik is a privately-owned, clinical-stage company based in Basel, Switzerland. Noorik is developing ambrisentan as a treatment for kidney, liver, and respiratory diseases. Finding a new use for an existing drug, also called “drug repurposing” provides new opportunities to rapidly address unmet medical needs at a lower risk of failure.
ABOUT MICRO-DOSE AMBRISENTAN
Noorik has discovered that, when administered to humans at doses in the microgram range, ambrisentan has the potential to treat the vascular complications of solid-organ transplantation, complications of liver cirrhosis and respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19 or Influenza. Ambrisentan is a well-known endothelin receptor antagonist, currently indicated for the treatment of some forms of Pulmonary Hypertension. Noorik is currently working to establish whether micro-dose ambrisentan is more effective and has less side-effects as the current approved dose of ambrisentan. A Phase II study in patients with Liver Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension has been recently completed with promising results.
ABOUT ACUTE PULMONARY HYPERTENSION IN COVID-19
SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus at the center of the current pandemic, results in a type of viral pneumonia characterised by significant respiratory insufficiency in some patients. There is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 directly affects the blood vessels of the body, and may result in a condition called endothelial dysfunction, which is the inability of blood vessels to relax and permit higher blood flow through the lungs. In patients with COVID-19, endothelial dysfunction may result in a condition called Pulmonary Hypertension. As patients with Severe and Critical COVID-19 frequently signs of Acute Pulmonary Hypertension, there is potential to treat these patients with a pulmonary vasodilator. Endothelin receptor antagonists, such as ambrisentan, are pulmonary vasodilators and currently indicated for the treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension. Noorik is currently performing a clinical trial to evaluate the hypothesis that micro-dose ambrisentan reverts the signs and symptoms of Acute Pulmonary Hypertension in patients with Severe COVID-19. The primary objective of the study is to establish whether ambrisentan can improve respiratory function and prevent the progression to mechanical ventilation or death.
For more information, visit www.noorik.com
Contact and Media Inquiries:
Noorik Biopharmaceuticals AG
Iker Navarro, MD
Chief Executive Officer