Posted: 24 February 2022
ENA Respiratory, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing INNA-051, a first-in-class broad-spectrum antiviral innate immunomodulator for pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis of respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19 in populations at-risk of complications, and the COPD Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation focused on improving the lives of those affected by COPD, bronchiectasis, and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease, announced a partnership to develop INNA-051 in people with chronic lung diseases.
In a Phase 1 study, INNA-051 was found to be well-tolerated, and the company expects to release additional data this year. Phase 2 studies to confirm the pan-antiviral potential of INNA-051 are expected to begin soon and include a randomised COVID-19 post-exposure antiviral prophylaxis study and an influenza challenge pre-exposure prophylaxis study.
Respiratory virus infections, especially rhinovirus (the common cold), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza, are related to worsening of chronic lung conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Detection of a viral pathogen has been associated with poor outcomes, including worsening symptoms, hospitalisation, and a high likelihood of hospital readmission. There is a clear unmet medical need for an intervention that can significantly reduce the incidence of respiratory virus associated with acute exacerbations. With activity independent of the specific viral pathogen and a targeted safety profile compatible with seasonal use, INNA-051 has a profile intended to address this need.
“Millions of people are impacted by chronic lung diseases and are at a greater risk of complications from common respiratory illnesses. Our patient community surveys highlight an urgent need for treatments that prevent flare-ups triggered by viral infections, now more than ever. This fast-acting nasal spray could be used before or shortly after virus exposure to help the body respond faster and reduce the chances of complications. We are excited to partner with ENA Respiratory to advance the development of INNA-051,” said Ruth Tal-Singer, Ph.D., COPD Foundation President & Chief Scientific Officer. “Together, we will leverage our current improved understanding of the role of the lung microbiome and viruses in poor outcomes in COPD, including infectious exacerbations,” she added.
The partnership adds INNA-051 to the COPD Foundation’s COPD360Net® pipeline and will utilise its global network of accredited centres, scientific expertise, and patient investigators to optimise and accelerate the clinical development program. The expertise of the COPD Foundation and the shared commitment of the Foundation and ENA Respiratory to patient-centred drug development will allow the INNA-051 clinical program to progress with maximum efficiency.
“People with chronic lung diseases continue to be impacted not just by the COVID-19 pandemic but by the resurgence of other common respiratory viruses. There continues to be a need for convenient treatments that can be used over the winter months or after known short-term exposure to a respiratory virus, to reduce the incidence of acute exacerbations of patients with chronic lung diseases. We are thrilled to partner with the COPD Foundation to support the clinical development of INNA-051 in chronic lung diseases. They bring significant scientific and medical expertise in addition to providing access to patient feedback on the adoption of INNA-051 by this patient population,” said Christophe Demaison, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of ENA Respiratory.