Vicore Pharma's drug candidate VP01 demonstrates potential for significant benefit in severe pulmonary hypertension
Gothenburg, June 22, 2020 – Vicore Pharma Holding AB (publ), a pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing innovative medicines for rare lung disorders, announces positive results with VP01 in a gold-standard preclinical model considered predictive of human pulmonary hypertension.
Administration of clinically relevant oral doses of VP01 in the so called Sugen-Hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH) model in rats caused a significant and therapeutically meaningful reduction in pulmonary arterial pressure without affecting the systemic blood pressure. In addition, VP01 significantly reduced the small vessel vasculopathy that caused right ventricle remodeling and thereby improved heart function. Together with significant anti-fibrotic effects of VP01, the findings collectively support the hypothesis of clinical efficacy of VP01 against Group 3 PH* in general, and PH secondary to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in particular.
VP01 (C21) is a first in class orally available low molecular weight angiotensin II receptor type 2 (AT2R) agonist that activates the “protective arm” of the renin angiotensin system (RAS). The compound has previously shown effects in the bleomycin and monocrotaline pulmonary fibrosis/PH models and is currently in clinical development for IPF, pulmonary fibrosis in systemic sclerosis and COVID-19.
Vasculopathy in IPF
Vasculopathy leading to PH starts early in the disease, and even mild cases of IPF can show increased pulmonary arterial pressure. In more advanced stages of the disease, the PH can build up and lead to cardiac failure, which can be fatal.
“Pulmonary hypertension is a common and serious complication of interstitial lung disease, including IPF, and it is not addressed with currently available therapies”, says Rohit Batta, CMO, Vicore Pharma. “These new results are very encouraging considering that the Sugen-Hypoxia model involves a profound PH phenotype that resembles human disease”.
“Pulmonary hypertension and fibrosis are an unhappy pairing of synergistic co-morbidities: fibrosis leads to vasculopathy which progresses to PH, and fibrosis marks the end-phase of the vasculopathy in PH patients, severely limiting the efficacy of current therapies. VP01 is distinctive in combining antifibrotic efficacy and hemodynamics benefits to prevent the development of small vessel vasculopathy.”, says Dan Salvail, Vice-President, IPS Therapeutique.
“A key tenet to this project was the strategic collaboration with the experienced and skilled team at IPS Therapeutique where these advanced experiments were conducted”, says Johan Raud, CSO, Vicore Pharma. “Detailed results will be presented in a scientific publication”.
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Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, CEO, tel: +46 70 975 98 63, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Group 3 pulmonary hyptertension (PH): PH due to lung diseases such as COPD, ILD, hypoventilation disorders and chronic high altitude exposure.