RedHill Biopharma, a specialty biopharmaceutical company, recently announced that it has initiated its Phase 3 study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of RHB-204 as a potential first-line, stand-alone, oral treatment of pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) disease caused by Mycobacterium avium Complex (MAC) – a rare disease for which there is no US FDA-approved first-line therapy.
"NTM is a debilitating disease that can cause scarring, fibrosis and the formation of cavities or pits in the lungs, which can lead to potentially fatal respiratory failure. People with existing lung conditions, such as bronchiectasis and those with COPD, are particularly susceptible," said Prof. Kevin Winthrop, MD, MPH, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Oregon Health & Science University, and study Principal Investigator. "NTM is notoriously resistant to most antibiotics and challenging to treat, and there is no FDA-approved first-line therapy for the approximately 110,000 cases of NTM infection in the U.S. This study of orally-administered RHB-204, if successful, represents an opportunity to make a breakthrough in managing NTM infections."
"Treatment of NTM disease requires multiple antibiotics and an extended treatment course due to the risk of development of resistance1," said Aida Bibliowicz, RedHill's Vice President of Clinical Affairs. "Many patients fail these types of therapies and more than half will have either recurring disease or a new infection after completing treatment, making new treatment options for NTM an urgent need."
The multi-center, randomized, double-blind, two-part, placebo-controlled, parallel-group Phase 3 study will be conducted at up to 40 sites across the U.S. and aims to enroll 125 patients, randomized at a 3:2 ratio to receive either RHB-204 or placebo. The study is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of RHB-204 in patients with symptomatic Mycobacterium avium Complex (MAC) lung disease. Study endpoints include sputum culture conversion at month six of treatment with RHB-204, compared to placebo and patient-reported outcomes, including improvements in physical functioning, respiratory symptoms and fatigue. Following this assessment (part one of the study), patients may be eligible to continue double-blinded treatment for up to 16 months (part two). Sustainability of clinical benefit and durability of microbiological response will be assessed at month 16 and again three months after treatment completion.
RHB-204 was recently granted Orphan Drug designation, extending U.S. market exclusivity for RHB-204 by an additional seven years, for a potential total of 12 years upon FDA approval. RHB-204 had also previously been granted a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) designation by the FDA, providing eligibility for Fast-Track development, NDA Priority Review and a five-year extension of U.S. market exclusivity, if approved.