VANCOUVER, and SAN DIEGO, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - MIGENIX Inc. (TSX: MGI, OTC:
MGIFF), a clinical-stage developer of drugs for infectious diseases, has
received preliminary four-week interim results from a Phase II viral kinetics
study in hepatitis C virus ("HCV") treatment-naive patients which indicate
that celgosivir (an oral alpha glucosidase I inhibitor) has no negative
effects on the tolerability, pharmacokinetics and viral kinetics when combined
with the standard of care drugs, pegylated interferon plus ribavirin, as
compared to the standard of care drugs alone.
The interim results include 10 patients who had completed 4-weeks of
treatment equally divided between: (i) pegylated interferon (alfa-2b) plus
ribavirin ("PR"); and (ii) celgosivir 400mg QD plus PR ("PRC"). The results
are interim as the study is designed as a 20-patient, 12-week study. The
following is a summary of the preliminary interim four-week results:
- viral kinetics in both treatment groups are similar with a median
reduction in HCV RNA at 4 weeks of 3.5 log(10) vs 3.8 log(10) in the
PRC and PR groups, respectively. The variability of response is wide
with reductions of 5.4 log(10) to 0.8 log(10) and 4.5 log(10) to
2.5 log(10) for the PRC and PR groups, respectively. Virus was
undetectable in one patient who was in the PRC group (none in the PR
- PRC treatment was well tolerated, with both the PRC and PR groups
demonstrating similar tolerability, which is consistent with
observations from prior studies. Gastrointestinal tolerability of the
PRC treatment was slightly better in this study compared to prior
studies. No serious adverse events were reported.
Due to the small number of patients and the high response rate with
standard of care alone, any conclusion about differences in efficacy between
the groups is speculative at this point. The Company will be completing a
thorough analysis of the data from this trial, along with data from an
extension protocol with patients continuing from a previous Phase II
non-responder study (see summary of the non-responder study results below), to
determine the next steps in the development of celgosivir. An update will be
provided as part of the Company's quarterly news release and conference call
on December 13th, 2007.
About Celgosivir (MX-3253)
Celgosivir, an oral inhibitor of alpha-glucosidase I, is currently the
only anti-HCV drug in clinical development that acts on host-directed
glycosylation. In preclinical studies, celgosivir has shown excellent in vitro
synergy with various interferons in the clinic or in development including
Pegasys, PEG-Intron, Infergen, Alferon and IFN-omega (with or without
ribavirin) and other drugs in development for the treatment of HCV (e.g.
polymerase inhibitors) and therefore has the potential to be included as part
of many combination therapeutic approaches to improve efficacy in anti-HCV
A previously completed Phase II non-responder combination study reported
April 11, 2007 showed:
- a 42% Early Virologic Response(*) (EVR) with PRC compared to a 10%
EVR with PR ((*) EVR = 2 log(10) or greater HCV viral load
reduction at 12 weeks).
- a mean HCV viral load reduction ("VLR") of 1.63 log(10) (PRC)
compared to a 0.92 log(10) reduction (PR).
- 90% viral load reduction (1 log(10)) reduction, or greater, at
12 weeks in 66% (8/12) of PRC patients, compared to only 40% (4/10)
in patients in the PR treatment arm.
- EVR in 57% of null responders (4/7) in the PRC therapy arm (null
responders = patients who have not achieved greater than a
0.4 log(10) viral load reduction on prior treatment with optimized
Celgosivir combination therapy was well tolerated and resulted in no
significant adverse events. As expected from previous experience, the most
frequent side effects related to celgosivir were gastrointestinal in nature
and were generally mild. Other frequently observed side effects were fatigue
and flu-like symptoms - which are side effects usually associated with PR
HCV, the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States,
causes inflammation of the liver and may progress to more serious
complications such as cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and death.
Approximately 2.7 million people in the United States are chronically infected
with HCV, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates
that by the year 2010, the number of deaths attributed annually to HCV could
surpass that due to HIV/AIDS in the US. Worldwide, the World Health
Organization estimates that 170 million individuals have chronic HCV
infection, with 3 to 4 million new infections each year.
Therapy for HCV currently employs a drug combination approach, which is
anticipated to continue in the future. The current standard of care for
treatment-naive chronic hepatitis C is pegylated interferon combined with
ribavirin (PR), which fails to provide a satisfactory outcome for
approximately 50% of patients infected with HCV genotype 1 (the most prevalent
genotype in North America). In addition, these drugs can cause significant
side effects that limit tolerance to therapy, or a frequent lack of sustained
MIGENIX is committed to advancing therapy, improving health, and
enriching life by developing and commercializing drugs primarily in the area
of infectious diseases. The Company's clinical programs include drug
candidates for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infections (Phase II and
preclinical), the prevention of catheter-related infections (Phase III) and
the treatment of dermatological diseases (Phase II). MIGENIX is headquartered
in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with US operations in San Diego,
California. Additional information can be found at www.migenix.com.
James M. DeMesa, M.D.
President & CEO
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and
forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws
in Canada, (collectively referred to as "forward-looking statements").
Statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking
statements and include, without limitation, statements regarding our strategy,
future operations, timing and completion of clinical trials, prospects, plans
and objectives of management. The words "anticipates", "believes", "budgets",
"could", "estimates", "expects", "forecasts", "intends", "may", "might",
"plans", "projects", "schedule", "should", "will", "would" and similar
expressions are often intended to identify forward-looking statements, which
include underlying assumptions, although not all forward-looking statements
contain these identifying words. By their nature, forward-looking statements
involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties, both
general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions,
forecasts, projections and other things contemplated by the forward-looking
statements will not occur.
Although our management believes that the expectations represented by
such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there is significant risk that
the forward-looking statements may not be achieved, and the underlying
assumptions thereto will not prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements
in this news release include, but are not limited to, statements concerning
our expectations for: completing a thorough analysis of the data from the
celgosivir Phase II viral kinetics study, along with data from an extension
protocol with patients continuing from a previous Phase II non-responder
study, to determine the next steps in the development of celgosivir and
providing an update as part of the Company's quarterly news release and
conference call on December 13th, 2007; and celgosivir having the potential to
be included as part of many combination therapeutic approaches to improve
efficacy in anti-HCV therapy.
With respect to the forward-looking statements contained in this news
release, we have made numerous assumptions regarding, among other things: our
ability to complete the analysis of data from the celgosivir studies to
provide an update on December 13, 2007; and the competitiveness of the
celgosivir study results to date and future results supporting its potential
in the treatment of HCV.
Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans,
intentions and expectations expressed or implied in any forward-looking
statements, including the underlying assumptions thereto, as a result of
numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors including: potential delays;
uncertainties related to early stage of technology and product development;
uncertainties as to the requirement that a drug be found to be safe and
effective after extensive clinical trials and the possibility that the results
of such trials, if completed, will not establish the safety or efficacy of our
products; and other risks and uncertainties which may not be described herein.
Certain of these factors and other factors are described in detail in the
Company's Annual Information Form and Annual Report on Form 20-F for and other
filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the U.S.
Securities & Exchange Commission.
Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and
MIGENIX assumes no obligations to update such information to reflect later
events or developments.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept
responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information:
For further information: Art Ayres, MIGENIX Inc., Tel: (604) 221-9666
Ext. 233, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dian Griesel, Ph.D., Investor Relations Group,
Tel: (212) 825-3210, Theproteam@aol.com