JIANGSU, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Atom Bioscience (Jiangsu Atom Bioscience and Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing best-in-class treatments for inflammatory and metabolic diseases, announced today completion of a D-round financing of approximately $83 million (CNY 600 million) for completion of global pivotal clinical trials of ABP-671, its unique orally administered URAT1 inhibitor for chronic gout. The funds also will be used to advance to clinical stage the company’s innovative pipeline of drugs for inflammatory and metabolic diseases.
This round of financing includes new and existing investors and was led by Kaitai Capital. Other investors include Fortune Capital, Huajin Investment, Unifortune and NNFE Investment. After this round of financing, Atom has raised a total of nearly $165 million.
"We appreciate the support of every investment institution involved in the D-round financing and previous investors,” said Dr. William Dongfang Shi, CEO, Chairman and Founder of Atom Bioscience. “We are honored to have their trust as we strive to promote innovative best-in-class drugs benefiting gout patients worldwide.”
Chronic gout is caused by long-term hyperuricemia (serum uric acid (sUA) > 7 mg/dL or 420 μmol/L). More than 50 million patients suffer from gout worldwide and nearly 10 million in the U.S. Globally, there are more than 200 million people with hyperuricemia. Aside from the acute painful flare-ups associated with gout, the disease seriously affects people's quality of life and can increase the probability of sudden cardiac death and kidney function injury. The performance of existing gout drugs is far from meeting clinical needs. The drugs have poor efficacy and pose serious safety issues, such as leading to kidney failure, sudden cardiac death, or severe liver toxicity.
ABP-671 reduces sUA levels by inhibiting renal urate transporter 1 (URAT1), resulting in normal excretion of urate in urine. Its clinical primary endpoint is to reduce sUA to < 6 mg/dL (360 μmol/L) and in previous clinical trials ABP-671 has demonstrated good efficacy, safety and tolerability.
In two Phase 2 clinical trials of ABP-671 at doses ranging from 1 mg to 12 mg once a day, ABP-671 at a dose of 1 mg had showed a substantial reduction of sUA. At doses of 6 mg and 8 mg, 100% of subjects achieved the primary clinical end point of < 6 mg/dL. Notably, 100% of subjects experienced sUA levels of < 5 mg/dL (300 μmol/L), and there were 57% and 87.5% of subjects with sUA levels < 4 mg/dL (240 μmol/L), respectively. Some subjects had sUA levels < 3 mg/dL (180 μmol/L).
At a dose of 12 mg of ABP-671, 100% of the subjects achieved sUA levels < 4 mg/dL. The two studies showed efficacy of ABP-671 can be maintained up to 24 hours with once daily dosing, and there were no significant adverse effects (AEs) compared to the placebo group.
Maintaining sUA levels of 5 mg/dL to 4 mg/dL in gout patients is recommended by many national gout treatment guidelines. At these levels gout tophi are re-dissolved, tophi size and quantity are reduced and eventually acute gout attacks are reduced. This is difficult for most market drugs to achieve.
“In terms of safety, ABP-671 is well tolerated. Its adverse events of ABP-671 were mostly grade 1 (mild and generally not bothersome), and the incidence is comparable to that of the placebo group,” said Dr. Shi. “No severe adverse events have occurred with ABP-671 at the doses tested.”
He also observed, “A Human Mass Balance study, which evaluates how drugs are absorbed, metabolized and excreted, showed that ABP-671 is mostly excreted in its original form and does not produce any similar metabolites seen with benzbromarone (a currently marketed drug for gout treatment) which causes severe liver toxicity.”
Dr. Shi added, “All subjects taking ABP-671 had a significant decrease in their sUA levels, therefore, we also plan to investigate ABP-671 for the treatment of refractory gout. In addition, we submitted a Pre-IND application to the U.S. FDA in August for ABP-745, which is used to treat inflammation and acute gout. We expect to submit the IND application in the U.S. and China in November.”
About Atom Bioscience
Atom Bioscience (Jiangsu Atom Bioscience and Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.) is a fast-growing innovative drug company, focused on development of best-in-class small molecule therapeutics for treatment of inflammatory and metabolic diseases. The company’s lead product, ABP-671, is in clinical development for treatment of chronic gout. Another small molecule ABP-745 has shown significant efficacy and good safety in animal models of anti-inflammation, and is expected to be in Phase 1 clinical trials soon. For more information, please visit: https://www.atombp.com or atombp.us.