BioXcel Therapeutics ("BTI" or "Company") (Nasdaq: BTAI), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company utilizing artificial intelligence approaches to identify and advance the next wave of medicines in neuroscience and immuno-oncology, today announced the initiation of its SERENITY (Sub-Lingual DExmedetomidine in Agitation Associated With SchizophRENIa and Bipolar Disorder STudY) program, two Phase 3 studies of BXCL501 for the acute treatment of agitation in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Topline data from both Phase 3 trials are expected in mid-2020.
"The initiation of the SERENITY trials represents a critical next step in our aim to provide a safe and effective therapy to millions of individuals who suffer from agitation associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder," commented Vimal Mehta, Chief Executive Officer of BTI. "Managing agitation in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders is a major challenge for both physicians and caregivers. BXCL501, designed as a non-invasive, fast acting therapy, may be able to overcome the limitations associated with current standards of care, as we believe it provides calming without excessive sedation while protecting the caregiver patient relationship."
The SERENITY studies are randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, adaptive trials of up to 750 patients 18 to 75 years of age. SERENITY I will enroll patients with agitation associated with schizophrenia, with each arm receiving either BXCL501 at 120 micrograms, 180 micrograms or a placebo. SERENITY II will evaluate patients with agitation associated with bipolar disorder, also with each of three arms receiving either BXCL501 at 120 micrograms, 180 micrograms or a placebo. The primary endpoint of the trials is reducing acute agitation measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, examining the Excited Component ("PEC") change from baseline compared to placebo. A key secondary endpoint includes determining the earliest time where an effect on agitation is apparent as measured by the change from baseline in PEC total score.
About Agitation in Neuropsychology
Agitation is a common and difficult to manage symptom associated with a number of psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is estimated that approximately 19 million people are at risk of agitation and 8.3 million in the U.S. suffer from agitation each year, costing approximately $40 billion annually in treatment related expenses. Early identification and prompt intervention to relieve agitation are essential to avoid symptomatic escalation and emergence of aggression. Recent consensus guidelines emphasize the need for non-coercive management strategies to protect the therapeutic alliance between patients and their healthcare providers--an alliance that is critical for the effective management of chronic psychiatric conditions. A non-invasive therapy that causes rapid symptom relief and de-escalates agitation may be necessary to avoid the costly and traumatic use of coercive techniques, like physical restraint and seclusion, which require admission and prolonged hospitalization.
About the PEC (PANSS-EC or the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale-Excitatory Component) Score for Agitation
The PEC score is a validated regulatory endpoint for measuring acute agitation in schizophrenia and bipolar patients. This scale is used in clinical research to rate the severity of a patient's acute agitation. The PEC score is comprised of 5 elements associated with agitation: poor impulse control, tension, hostility, uncooperativeness, and excitement; each scored 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). The PEC is the sum of these 5 subscales and thus ranges from 5 to 35.
BXCL501 is a potential first-in-class, proprietary sublingual thin film of dexmedetomidine, a selective alpha-2a receptor agonist for the treatment of acute agitation. BTI believes that BXCL501 may target a driver of agitation and the Company has observed anti-agitation effects in multiple clinical studies across multiple neuropsychiatric indications. BXCL501 has also been granted Fast Track Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the acute treatment of agitation.
A Phase 1b safety and efficacy study of BXCL501 yielded positive dose-response data. BXCL501 is being evaluated in the SERENITY program, consisting of two Phase 3 studies for the acute treatment of agitation in patients with schizophrenia (SERENITY I) and bipolar disorder (SERENITY II). BXCL501 is also expected to be evaluated in a Phase 1b/2 trial for the treatment of agitation associated with dementia.
About BioXcel Therapeutics, Inc.
BioXcel Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company utilizing artificial intelligence to identify improved therapies in neuroscience and immuno-oncology. BTI's drug re-innovation approach leverages existing approved drugs and/or clinically validated product candidates together with big data and proprietary machine learning algorithms to identify new therapeutic indices. BTI's two most advanced clinical development programs are BXCL501, a sublingual thin film formulation designed for acute treatment of agitation resulting from neuropsychiatric disorders, and BXCL701, an orally administered systemic innate immunity activator designed for treatment of a rare form of prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and advanced solid cancers in combination with other immuno-oncology agents. For more information, please visit http://www.bioxceltherapeutics.com/.
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this press release include but are not limited to the timing and data from clinical development initiatives and trials for BXCL501. When used herein, words including "anticipate," "being," "will," "plan," "may," "continue," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements or information that refer to expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, performance or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking. All forward-looking statements are based upon BTI's current expectations and various assumptions. BTI believes there is a reasonable basis for its expectations and beliefs, but they are inherently uncertain.
BTI may not realize its expectations, and its beliefs may not prove correct. Actual results could differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, its limited operating history; its incurrence of significant losses; its need for substantial additional funding and ability to raise capital when needed; its limited experience in drug discovery and drug development; its dependence on the success and commercialization of BXCL501 and BXCL701 and other product candidates; the failure of preliminary data from its clinical studies to predict final study results; failure of its early clinical studies or preclinical studies to predict future clinical studies; its ability to receive regulatory approval for its product candidates; its ability to enroll patients in its clinical trials; its approach to the discovery and development of product candidates based on EvolverAI is novel and unproven; its exposure to patent infringement lawsuits; its ability to comply with the extensive regulations applicable to it; its ability to commercialize its product candidates; and the other important factors discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2019, as such factors may be updated from time to time in its other filings with the SEC, which are accessible on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.
These and other important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management's estimates as of the date of this press release. While BTI may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, except as required by law, it disclaims any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing BTI's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
BioXcel Therapeutics, Inc.
Source: BioXcel Therapeutics, Inc.