CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apnimed, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing oral pharmacologic treatments to address obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and related disorders, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation for its oral pharmacologic AD109 for the treatment of OSA.
“Fast Track designation is a significant milestone in the development of AD109 and provides an accelerated regulatory pathway that recognizes the urgent need for new pharmacologic treatments for OSA that are easier for people to tolerate,” said Larry Miller, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Apnimed. “Currently the vast majority of more than 35 million Americans who have OSA remain untreated despite the potential for serious health risks associated with the condition, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We will continue to work closely with the FDA to support the development and review of AD109 beginning with the trial design for our Phase 3 program, which we anticipate initiating at the end of 2022.”
FDA’s Fast Track designation is intended to facilitate the development and expedite the review of new drugs to treat serious conditions and that fill an unmet medical need. The benefits of Fast Track designation include opportunities for frequent meetings with the FDA to discuss development plans, trial design, and data needed to support drug approval, as well as the ability to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) on a rolling basis, and eligibility for priority review, if relevant criteria are met.
Apnimed’s AD109 has the potential to be the first oral pharmacologic that treats OSA airway obstruction at night. It is a first-in-class, novel, investigational combination dosed once daily at bedtime and is designed to treat OSA patients across a broad spectrum of disease severity. AD109 combines a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (atomoxetine) with Apnimed’s new chemical entity and selective antimuscarinic (aroxybutynin). AD109 targets key neurological pathways in OSA that cause upper airway obstruction during sleep by activating the upper airway dilator muscles and maintaining an open airway during sleep. This drug combination has the potential to become a safe, effective, and convenient treatment for OSA, addressing some of the key limitations of the current device and surgical approaches that are the standard of care treatments. AD109 is currently completing Phase 2 clinical trials, after which Apnimed plans to meet with FDA to discuss the Phase 3 development program.
About Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is one of the most common and serious sleep disorders and is estimated to affect more than 35 million Americans, though underdiagnosis continues to be a serious problem. OSA is characterized by partial or complete upper airway obstruction that occurs during sleep, which often leads to poor sleep, and in the long term, has been shown to exacerbate hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Additionally, OSA can impair work productivity, reduce functional ability, and lower quality of life.
Sleep-related muscular relaxation driven by the central nervous system is the key neurologic mechanism that causes OSA. In patients with OSA, a reduction in neuromuscular control of the upper airway during sleep leads to a corresponding relaxation of the upper airway dilator muscles. The vast majority of diagnosed patients are prescribed positive air pressure therapy devices such as continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, but many patients are dissatisfied with these mechanical nighttime devices and fewer than half are compliant long-term, leaving a significant population untreated, undertreated and at risk.
Apnimed is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company working to transform the treatment of sleep apnea based on a simple idea – patients with obstructive sleep apnea could benefit from treatment with a safe and effective oral medication dosed once daily at bedtime. Apnimed’s lead development program targets the neurologic control of upper airway muscles to maintain an open airway during sleep. Based in Cambridge, Mass., the company is developing a portfolio of novel pharmacologic therapies for sleep apnea and related disorders. Learn more at apnimed.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.