WARRINGTON, Pa., Feb. 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. (“Windtree” or the “Company”) (NasdaqCM: WINT), a biotechnology company focused on advancing late-stage interventions for critical cardiovascular disorders, today announced that it has renewed its partnership with Chang Gung University in Taiwan to further research on SERCA2a, an important target for the Company’s cardiovascular portfolio. Windtree personnel from its offices in Taipei, Taiwan will participate in the collaboration.
The scientific collaboration includes the Company’s lead product candidate istaroxime and the next generation compounds called SERCA2a activators. One of istaroxime’s mechanisms of action is facilitation of myocardial relaxation through activation of the SERCA2a calcium pump on the sarcoplasmic reticulum enhancing calcium reuptake from the cytoplasm. SERCA2a activity is decreased in heart failure and disordered calcium handling can play a role in cardiac arrythmias. Windtree believes activation of SERCA2a could represent an important advancement in heart failure treatment for patients. The SERCA2a activators are in the preclinical stage of development and have potential for intravenous administration or oral (tablet) use in the out-patient setting in chronic heart failure.
“We are pleased to utilize this scientific collaboration to further support the characterization of the potential benefits of SERCA2a activation in cardiovascular disease and support the advancement of the next generation assets in our portfolio,” said Craig Fraser, Windtree's President and Chief Executive Officer. “This collaboration recently provided preclinical data showing reduction in ischemia-reperfusion induced arrythmias with istaroxime and a pure SERCA2a activator compound.”
Arrythmias are irregular heartbeats that can impact the pumping function of the heart. Patients with heart failure and cardiomyopathy are at risk for arrythmias. Arrythmias in these patients can be caused by their underlying cardiac disease or by drugs used to treat the heart failure such as catecholamines. Arrythmias can impair proper filling of the heart with blood and, importantly, cardiac output to the body. Ventricular arrythmias are particularly dangerous and can be fatal.
Outside of this scientific collaboration, istaroxime is being studied in the Phase 2 SEISMiC Extension Study in early cardiogenic shock. Study results are expected in mid-2024. Cardiogenic shock is a serious condition that occurs when the heart is failing significantly and cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to the brain, kidneys, and other vital organs. Mortality rates are significant and, depending on severity, range from 7% to 40% in the U.S. There is a lack of satisfactory pharmacological intervention to reverse the condition as available therapies have unwanted side effects such as risk for arrhythmias, decreasing blood pressure, renal dysfunction and even increases in mortality that limit their usefulness and position them as “rescue medicines” for severe cases. Market research revealed 99% of 100 U.S.-based clinical cardiologists interviewed who treat cardiogenic shock patients responded that new drug innovation to treat these patients is highly needed. The cardiogenic shock worldwide total market value is estimated to be $1.25 billion, calculated by using cardiogenic shock patient U.S. hospital claims and worldwide prevalence data multiplied by assumed various regional prices of drug treatment.
Istaroxime is a first-in-class dual-mechanism therapy designed to improve both systolic and diastolic cardiac function. Istaroxime is a positive inotropic agent that increases myocardial contractility through inhibition of Na+/K+- ATPase with a complimentary mechanism that facilitates myocardial relaxation through activation of the SERCA2a calcium pump on the sarcoplasmic reticulum enhancing calcium reuptake from the cytoplasm. Data from multiple Phase 2 studies in patients with early cardiogenic shock or acute decompensated heart failure demonstrate that istaroxime infused intravenously significantly improves cardiac function and blood pressure without increasing heart rate or the incidence of cardiac rhythm disturbances.
About Pure SERCA2a Activators
These compounds activate SERCA2a and Windtree Therapeutics' research and development program is evaluating these preclinical product candidates, including oral and intravenous SERCA2a activator heart failure compounds.
About Windtree Therapeutics, Inc.
Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. is advancing late-stage interventions for cardiovascular disorders to treat patients in moments of crisis. Using new scientific and clinical approaches, Windtree is developing a multi-asset franchise anchored around compounds with an ability to activate SERCA2a, with lead candidate, istaroxime, being developed as a first-in-class treatment for cardiogenic shock and acute decompensated heart failure. Windtree’s heart failure platform includes follow-on pre-clinical SERCA2a activator assets as well. In pulmonary care, Windtree has focused on facilitating the transfer of the KL4 surfactant platform, to its licensee, Lee’s Pharmaceutical (HK) Ltd. and Zhaoke Pharmaceutical (Hefei) Co. Ltd. Included in Windtree’s portfolio is rostafuroxin, a novel precision drug product targeting hypertensive patients with certain genetic profiles.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company may, in some cases, use terms such as "predicts," "believes," "potential," "proposed," "continue," "estimates," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," "intends," "may," "could," "might," "will," "should" or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on information available to the Company as of the date of this press release and are subject to numerous important factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from the Company’s current expectations. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include: risks and uncertainties associated with the success and advancement of the clinical development programs for istaroxime and the Company’s other product candidates; the Company’s ability to secure significant additional capital as and when needed; the Company’s ability to access the debt or equity markets; the Company’s ability to manage costs and execute on its operational and budget plans; the results, cost and timing of the Company’s clinical development programs, including any delays to such clinical trials relating to enrollment or site initiation; risks related to technology transfers to contract manufacturers and manufacturing development activities; delays encountered by the Company, contract manufacturers or suppliers in manufacturing drug products, drug substances, and other materials on a timely basis and in sufficient amounts; risks relating to rigorous regulatory requirements, including that: (i) the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or other regulatory authorities may not agree with the Company on matters raised during regulatory reviews, may require significant additional activities, or may not accept or may withhold or delay consideration of applications, or may not approve or may limit approval of the Company’s product candidates, and (ii) changes in the national or international political and regulatory environment may make it more difficult to gain regulatory approvals and risks related to the Company’s efforts to maintain and protect the patents and licenses related to its product candidates; risks that the Company may never realize the value of its intangible assets and have to incur future impairment charges; risks related to the size and growth potential of the markets for the Company’s product candidates, and the Company’s ability to service those markets; the Company’s ability to develop sales and marketing capabilities, whether alone or with potential future collaborators; the rate and degree of market acceptance of the Company’s product candidates, if approved; the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of political unrest, including as a result of geopolitical tension, including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), and the evolving events in Israel and Gaza, and any sanctions, export controls or other restrictive actions that may be imposed by the United States and/or other countries which could have an adverse impact on the Company’s operations, including through disruption in supply chain or access to potential international clinical trial sites, and through disruption, instability and volatility in the global markets, which could have an adverse impact on the Company’s ability to access the capital markets. These and other risks are described in the Company’s periodic reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov. Any forward-looking statements that the Company makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.
Source: Windtree Therapeutics