Asset Pipeline

AZD1656 in COVID-19

The Problem

  • Urgent medical need with COVID-19 pandemic with limited treatment available
  • Second stage of disease is mainly caused by hyperinflammation and AZD1656 employs a novel mechanism to reduce inflammation of many immune pathways

ARCADIA Clinical Trial

  • The ARCADIA clinical trial was a randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of AZD1656 in patients with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Patients received either AZD1656 or placebo daily for up to 21 days in addition to standard care and antidiabetic medications. Although the trial did not meet its primary endpoint, the results suggest a beneficial therapeutic effect of AZD1656 in patients with COVID-19, achieved via an immunological mode of action. There were no deaths occurring in those receiving AZD1656 in the first week of treatment, whereas six deaths occurred in the placebo group. All-cause mortality rates within 28 days of admission favoured the AZD1656 patients, with only four deaths occurring, versus nine deaths in the placebo group
  • Conduit raised £10.3m through an SPV with Excalibur Medicines Limited including a £3m grant from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)
  • Conduit is actively engaged in commercial discussions with global pharma companies, with the objective of outright sale, partnership or license deals for St. George Street. Conduit retains 17% economic interest in the value generated through AZD1656 in COVID-19
  • Conduit completed 2 partial asset sales to Vela Technologies PLC, a UK-listed Investment Company and Cizzle Biotechnology Holdings PLC
AZD5904 in Idiopathic Male Infertility (IMI)

AZD1656 in Uveitis
  • Uveitis is an autoimmune disease of the eye that refers to a number of intraocular inflammatory conditions. Uveitis can occur either as a co-manifestation of various autoimmune disorders and infections or as a side effect of medications or it can arise as a purely idiopathic ocular inflammation. It is a Th-1 mediated autoimmune disease
  • Uveitis is a leading cause of blindness that affects younger working-age adults: In the US uveitis causes approximately 30 000 new cases of blindness per year and it is the third leading cause of blindness worldwide. Unlike other leading causes of blindness, uveitis is particularly prevalent in younger working-age people. Uveitis has a prevalence of around 40-100 per 100,000 persons, and can be subdivided into specific conditions, so qualifies as a rare disease.
  • The mainstay for uveitis treatment is steroids but these are not suitable for chronic use: Management of uveitis is challenging due to the varied pathophysiology underlying the condition. Steroids have been a mainstay of treatment, but have numerous side effects including weight gain, diabetes, increased risk of cancer and dyslipidaemia making them unsuitable for the long-term treatment of uveitis. Recently immunosuppressives have been introduced to treat uveitis, but these also carry side effects and biologics which are expensive. Uveitis can also become unresponsive to these treatments, and patients are still going blind, showing the need to improve therapies for patients. Even after the uveitis is apparently in remission, epithelial dysfunction and inflammatory cytokines for instance can limit resolution of inflammation and recovery of vision.
  • A uveitis treatment would be an orphan drug: a treatment for non-infectious uveitis would be eligible for orphan drug status (e.g. see HUMIRA) which gives market exclusivity of 10 years EU (7 years US) and can improve the development path with increased advice and reduced fees.
  • Management of uveitis is challenging; current treatments often carry significant side effects and even when patients are in remission vision may not recover. AZD1656 would represent a novel approach to treating uveitis with a broad mechanism of applicability.