Life sciences firm 4D pharma has announced “encouraging” results from an early-stage trial of an asthma drug.
A total of 34 patients were enrolled for the first part of 4D pharma’s phase I/II study of MRx-4DP0004, with half being given the new drug and the other half receiving a placebo.
No serious adverse reactions were reported during the trial, which 4D pharma said “generated promising signals of clinical activity”.
The second part of the study is expected to involve up to 90 patients.
For a study of this size in a relatively mild and heterogeneous population the signals are encouraging.”
Alex Stevenson, 4D pharma.
Alex Stevenson, 4D pharma’s chief scientific officer, said the “part “A” test results were “an important step forward in our development of a new safe oral therapeutic for asthma patients”.
He added: “MRx-4DP0004 has shown encouraging activity in key secondary endpoints of clinical activity.
“This data will help to guide the selection of patients for future development of the product.
“For a study of this size in a relatively mild and heterogeneous population, the signals are encouraging.”
4D pharma is focused on live biotherapeutics, a relatively new group of medicines that use bacteria in the human body to tackle disease.
As well as helping digestion and the production of vitamins, these bacteria have an important role in regulating the immune and central nervous systems.
London-listed 4D pharma, which grew out of Aberdeen University Rowett Institute spinout GT Biologics, says its medical potential goes way beyond treatments for gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
More than 30 researchers are involved in the discovery and pre-clinical testing of drugs in 4d pharma’s Aberdeen operation, at Foresterhill, although the company’s head office is in Leeds.
MRx-4DP0004 has been shown to significantly reduce lung inflammation and deliver other benefits in asthma, as well as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Asthma affects 300 million people globally, with between 5-10% of sufferers having a severe form of the disease.
According to 4d pharma, there is a growing body of evidence linking the gut microbiome to the development of asthma.
The global asthma therapeutics market is projected to reach £17.4 billion by 2023.