VANCOUVER, BC – Aequus Pharmaceuticals reports it will receive up to $100,000 in federal funding through the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.
The company plans to use funds towards an ongoing proof-of-concept clinical study for its lead product candidate, AQS1301, a once-weekly transdermal aripiprazole patch. Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic and the active ingredient in Abilify®, a leading medication in the U.S. used for the treatment of a number of psychiatric disorders including bipolar I disorder, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and irritability associated with autistic disorder. Aripiprazole is currently available in once-daily oral tablets and a once-monthly injectable form, however, medication adherence continues to be a significant challenge for patients. Offering the medication in a patch form potentially could make it more convenient to use, and improve patient adherence says Anne Stevens, COO and director of Aequus Pharmaceuticals .
“The current study will help define our clinical and commercial prototype patch and moves us one step closer to finalizing partnering discussions for the next steps in the development and commercialization of this product,” she said.
The product is currently in clinical development, butAequus expects to confirm its regulatory development plan in a pre-Investigational New Drug (pre-IND) meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the second half of 2017.
Aequus anticipates results of the current repeat dose, 28-day study in the first quarter of 2017. The results will be used to inform the final design of the patch to be advanced into the regulatory phase of its clinical trials.