Marinus Pharma (MRNS) Reports Ganaxolone Phase 1 Achieves Dose Levels Targeted for Efficacy in SE

October 19, 2016 7:31 AM EDT
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Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNS) announced that in its Phase 1 dose-escalation study, ganaxolone intravenous (IV) achieved dose levels targeted for efficacy in patients with status epilepticus (SE) and other indications. Status epilepticus is a life-threatening medical emergency associated with high mortality and limited treatments. Typically, single or combination IV antiepileptic drugs are used in an attempt to break the seizures, however there are approximately 45,000 patients in the U.S. who do not respond to first-line treatment.

Albena Patroneva, M.D., chief medical officer at Marinus, commented, “We are pleased with the results from our Phase 1 study which has provided predictable PK to enable dosing of ganaxolone IV in clinical studies in SE. There is a significant need for therapies that can rapidly stop the seizures in patients with SE. We believe ganaxolone IV could be a promising therapeutic option in this difficult-to-treat seizure disorder and look forward to advancing our clinical studies into patients with SE.”

The Phase 1 clinical study enrolled 36 subjects at Duke University Medical Center and was designed to determine the pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), and safety of ganaxolone IV administered as an ascending bolus dose (Stage 1) or continuous infusion (Stage 2). Four cohorts of subjects were enrolled in Stage 1 and received escalating doses of ganaxolone, and one cohort of subjects was enrolled in Stage 2. The primary study objective was to evaluate the safety and PK of ganaxolone IV. The secondary study objectives included the PD effects of ganaxolone IV on electroencephalogram (EEG) parameters, as well as the effect on clinical sedation scores.

Every dose regimen of ganaxolone IV administered, either bolus or continuous infusion, was generally safe and well tolerated and reached targeted dose levels in a short period of time. Following treatment, six treatment-emergent adverse events were reported, all of which were mild in severity and resolved without intervention. Only headache was considered possibly related to treatment with ganaxolone IV. No subject discontinued due to an adverse event and no serious adverse events were reported. Ganaxolone IV plasma concentrations were generally proportional to the administered dose, with potential anti-convulsant plasma concentrations achievable with a bolus dose. Additionally, the continuous infusion of ganaxolone IV achieved the targeted PK levels.

The data was presented by Dr. Julia Tsai, senior director of clinical development and project management at Marinus, in a poster entitled, “Phase 1 study to determine the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety of IV ganaxolone in healthy adults,” at the 141st Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association (ANA), October 16-18, 2016.

Marinus is making preparations to commence its Phase 2 clinical study in patients with SE in 2017. Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Orphan Drug Designation to ganaxolone IV for the treatment of SE.

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