Aptinyx Moves Ahead With PTSD Therapy Study, Pauses 3 Other Trials

Xconomy National — 

Neurological drug developer Aptinyx has stopped enrollment in three of the four mid-stage trials it is conducting due to impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Evanston, IL-based company disclosed the decision Monday in its report of fourth quarter and full year 2019 financial results.

Aptinyx (NASDAQ: APTX), which is advancing three clinical-stage drug candidates that target the NMDA receptor on neurons, stopped enrollment in two Phase 2b studies of its lead program, NYX-2925, in patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy and in patients with fibromyalgia. The company said challenges related to patient recruitment, screening, and randomization had proved insurmountable.

The company also halted enrollment in a Phase 2 study of another of its drugs, NYX-458, as a treatment for cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The company said it took into account the elevated risk of the relatively elderly patient population in the study as well as the challenges of administering cognitive assessments remotely in making the decision.

SVB Leerink analyst Marc Goodman, in a research note, called the changes “disappointing but not that surprising against a backdrop of many biotechs recently adjusting their trial timelines” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aptinyx is forging ahead with a Phase 2 study evaluating its drug candidate NYX-783 in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Aptinyx said it has managed impacts to the trial—in which 80 percent of participants have already been enrolled—through measures such as delivering NYX-783 directly to patients’ homes and following up with participants virtually.

“While monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 continuously, the company intends to continue enrollment of patients as long as it is responsible and practical to do so,” the company said.

This January the company completed a $35 million common stock offering. With that cash, the company says its financial runway extends into 2022. In August of 2018, Aptinyx raised $102.4 million in its initial public offering.

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