Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying and developing safe and effective antifungal and anti-bacterial therapeutics for the treatment of serious and life-threatening infections, announces the presentation of pre-clinical data that shows its cochleate lipid-crystal nano-particle drug delivery technology significantly improves the efficacy of atovaquone in treating pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), and enhances lung tissue penetration.
PCP is an opportunistic fungal infection of the lung, which is often lethal if not adequately treated. PCP typically affects patients who are immunocompromised, such as patients with HIV or who have undergone medical therapies involving chemotherapy, immune-suppressants or a transplant. Traditional therapies for PCP may affect the recovery of white blood cell levels in approximately 36 percent, making such older therapies poorly suitable for treatment of patients who have undergone a bone-marrow transplant.
Parag Kumar, Pharm.D., director of the Clinical Pharmacokinetics Research Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., presented the data during an oral presentation entitled “Pharmacokinetics and Efficacy of Encochleated Atovaquone (CATQ) in Murine Model of Pneumocystis,” on Oct. 10 at IDWeek 2015 in San Diego.
“CATQ demonstrated the tissue-targeting potential of Matinas’s cochleate technology,” said
Roelof Rongen, CEO of Matinas BioPharma. “The pharmacokinetics and biodistribution associated with traditional drug delivery typically show high plasma levels of drug with relatively low intracellular levels within the targeted and infected tissue. The data in this study show that levels of CATQ that reach the infected lung tissue are actually greater than the drug levels within plasma. This provides more evidence of enhanced tissue targeting capabilities of our cochleate lipid-crystal nano-particle technology.”
According to the presentation, CATQ represents a viable potential therapeutic candidate for treatment of PCP, for which future studies are warranted, the study concluded. PK and biodistribution data of CATQ were favorable and trended towards higher exposure in lungs than plasma, and investigators observed dose-dependent efficacy in a murine model of PCP with equivalent efficacy at half the dose of the formulation of atovaquone already approved for the treatment of PCP.
Atovaquone is an anti-infective agent currently indicated for the prevention and treatment of PCP, a condition often seen in immunocompromised patients. CATQ is formulated utilizing Matinas BioPharma’s proprietary cochleate delivery technology. It is currently in preclinical development in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center's Critical Care Medicine Department.
This pre-clinical study was a collaborative effort including researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the University of Cincinnati, New Jersey School of Medicine at Rutgers University and Matinas BioPharma. The research was led by Joseph A. Kovacs, M.D., Senior Investigator with the NIH Clinical Center, and Dr. Kumar.