Matinas BioPharma Holdings Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:MTNB) has initiated a head-to-head pharmaceutical study of its omega-3 drug candidate MAT9001 against a drug called Vascepa, in a battle to treat elevated triglycerides.
The study, known as ENHANCE-IT, will measure how effectively the drugs reduce triglyceride levels and other important lipid markers, in addition to gathering data on bioavailability and omega-3 fatty acids in the blood.
MAT9001 and Vascepa will each be administered twice daily to the roughly 100 enrolled patients over two 28-day treatment periods.
“The ENHANCE-IT study is a significant next step in our clinical development program designed to highlight the impressive efficacy of MAT9001 and further distinguish its superior profile from Vascepa,” Chief Medical Officer James Ferguson said in a statement. “Following recent developments in the omega-3 space which we believe limit potential competition, MAT9001 is well-positioned to potentially become an integral part of the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.”
Matinas said it expects to have topline results from the study in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“ENHANCE-IT will provide key information about MAT9001 and Vascepa,” said Kevin Maki, president of Midwest Biomedical Research and a member of the company's MAT9001 scientific advisory board. “Elevated triglycerides continue to represent an important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and we also need to better understand the potential mechanistic drivers behind the established benefits of omega-3 therapy.”
The company has concerns about Vascepa, which earned FDA approval late last year.
“Given the potential importance of the association of higher [eicosapentaenoic acid] blood levels with the cardiovascular risk reduction seen with Vascepa in the REDUCE-IT trial, this second head-to-head study of MAT9001 against Vascepa could have very important implications,” Maki said.
In addition to MAT9001, New Jersey-based Matinas is also developing MAT2203, which applies the company’s LNC drug delivery technology to orally deliver amphotericin B, an otherwise IV-only, highly toxic fungicidal drug, to treat serious invasive fungal infections.
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