Mereo BioPharma wraps up patients testing for its rare pulmonary disease drug

Mereo BioPharma Group, a clinical stage, biopharmaceutical company focused on rare and specialty diseases, has  completed patient enrolment in the AETHER, multi-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 dose-ranging study of acumapimod (BCT-197), for the treatment of patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD).

The company has enrolled 282 patients in testing of its novel, orally active p38 MAP kinase inhibitor in development as a first-line acute therapy for AECOPD.

The company said that the study aims to determine the most appropriate dosing regimen of acumapimod. The primary end point is forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). Top-line data from this study is expected in the second half of 2017.

Alastair Mackinnon, Chief Medical Officer of Mereo BioPharma Group plc commented: “This is another important milestone in our strategy of rapidly developing our portfolio of assets acquired from big pharma, following on from the recent initiation of a potentially pivotal Phase 2b study for BPS-804 in the orphan disease osteogenesis imperfecta. COPD is a chronic and debilitating condition, characterised by acute exacerbations which can result in hospitalisation and accelerate long term lung function decline. The treatment paradigm for AECOPD has not advanced in over a decade in the US or Europe and there is a growing need for new therapies. In previous Novartis studies, acumapimod was shown to have a statistically significant and clinically meaningful impact on FEV1 in AECOPD patients and to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. We believe it has the potential to be an important new treatment to improve the quality of life of these patients whilst also reducing healthcare costs.”

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