Australian drug discovery and development company Nyrada Inc. (ASX: NYR) which listed in January, reports solid progress in advancing its two lead R&D programs, one a treatment for brain injury and the other a novel cholesterol lowering drug.
NYR ended the day’s session at $0.150, up 11.11% on 6 April 2020. Today, on 7 April, the stock traded at $0.150 (10:58 AM).
As per the Company, its operations concerning two significant drug development programs are on-budget and progressing as planned. Having raised $8.5 million from its IPO, Nyrada has a solid cash position. Meanwhile, a variety of non-dilutive funding and collaboration opportunities in Australia and the US are being actively pursued by the Company for its product candidate’s development.
Nyrada’s business operations and programs seem to be largely unaffected by COVID-19 with CRO vendors in the US and China remaining open and running smoothly. With mitigation measures in place, Nyrada’s operations remain undisrupted with the 3-weeks mandatory shutdown of its drug synthesis vendor in India.
Although the operations and supply chains of Nyrada remain largely unaffected by COVID-19, the Company is adopting the state-mandated precautionary measures to halt the spread of the virus.
Brain Injury Program Discovers New Generation of More Potent Drug Candidates
Reduction in secondary brain damage post suffering a stroke or sustaining head trauma is the primary focus of Nyrada’s brain injury program and the aim is to improve patient survivability and enhance long-term outcomes. The program is centric to preventing secondary brain injury, specifically, a process of brain cell death caused by a process referred to as excitotoxicity that follows the primary injury.
Notably, the pharmacokinetic study of the lead candidate NYX-242 demonstrated that it readily crosses the blood-brain barrier following the intravenous administration. The candidate also has amply long plasma half-life and excellent drug-like properties.
In parallel, Nyrada is developing a new generation of compounds having significantly higher ability in inhibiting the key driver for secondary brain injury. The Company’s progress in the brain injury program has led to the discovery of a new generation of more potent drug candidates, that are novel and provide Nyrada with a strong competitive advantage in the design of an effective neuroprotectant drug, significantly broadening the Company’s commercial opportunity.
Nyrada is synthesising and testing further analogues, including a PK Study for dose optimisation. Meanwhile, the Company aims at lodging a provisional patent for the new family of compounds.
As stated by Professor Gary Housley, Chair of the Nyrada Scientific Advisory Board and a recognised global contributor to neurological research: “Progressive cellular excitotoxicity is recognised as a major mechanism that compounds mortality and long-term disability following stroke and brain trauma, and a drug which modulates this process to improve outcomes for these patients is long overdue. The recent progress builds our confidence that we will enter the clinic with a highly optimised drug.”
According to Nyrada, in the US alone 2.8 million suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI), while 0.8 million people suffer a stroke. Besides, one class of drug is suitable for less than 15% of the stroke patients. In such cases, long-term physical rehabilitation or neurology remains the only existing therapies.
Annually, US markets see approximate 700k brain injury patients. Around 280k TBI related hospital admissions (moderate to severe) and 650k stroke related emergency room visits are reported annually.
Thus, a drug that mitigates secondary brain injury in the days following stroke and TBI offers up the possibility of becoming a ‘standard of care’ treatment in a highly lucrative market estimated at US$10 billion annually in the US alone.
With brain injury a therapeutic area of largely unmet clinical need, Nyrada’s neuroprotectant product candidate aims to treat both stroke and TBI. Regarding the cholesterol lowering program, it remains on track with the near-term goal of identifying a lead PCSK9 inhibitor drug candidate by mid-2020.