- The proof-of-concept open-label study evaluated the safety and tolerability, function of regulatory T cells (Tregs), biomarkers, and preliminary efficacy (as measured by the ALSFRS-R scale) of COYA 302 over 48 weeks and was conducted in four ALS patients at the Houston Methodist Hospital by Dr. Stanley Appel and Dr. Jason Thonhoff.
- Study data showed no decline or minimal decline at 24 and 48 weeks, respectively, after initiation of treatment in a group of patients experiencing a mean decline of -1.1 points/month in their ALSFRS-R score prior to initiation of treatment with COYA 302. The mean (±SD) ALSFRS-R scores at week 24 (33.75 ±3.3) and week 48 (32 ±7.8) after initiation of treatment were not statistically different compared to the ALSFRS-R score at baseline (33.5 ±5.9), indicating significant amelioration in the progression of the disease.
- COYA 302 is an investigational combination biologic for subcutaneous administration, comprised of COYA 301 (low dose IL-2) and CTLA4-Ig fusion protein. COYA 302 has a dual mechanism of action and is intended to enhance Treg function in vivo, and downregulate the function of T effector cells, proinflammatory cells, and lipid peroxides.
- Over the course of treatment, COYA 302 significantly enhanced Treg suppressive function at 24 weeks and 48 weeks and lowered serum biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress.
- COYA 302 appeared to be well tolerated in all study patients.
Coya Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: COYA) (“Coya” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing multiple therapeutic platforms intended to enhance Treg function, including biologics and cell therapies, today reported 48-week clinical data for its proof-of-concept open-label study in 4 ALS patients indicating that treatment with COYA 302 appeared to ameliorate disease progression.
Four ALS patients with a mean decline of -1.1 points/month in the Revised ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) score prior to study initiation, were treated for 48 consecutive weeks with COYA 302 and were evaluated for safety and tolerability, Treg suppressive function, serum biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation, and clinical functioning as measured by the ALSFRS-R scale. Following the administration of COYA 302 for 48 weeks, patients were evaluated over an 8-week washout period.
During the 48-week treatment period, COYA 302 appeared to be well tolerated. The most common adverse event was mild injection-site reactions. No patient discontinued the study, and no deaths or other serious adverse events were reported.
Preliminary efficacy of COYA 302 was measured by the ALSFRS-R scale, a validated rating tool for monitoring the progression of disability in patients with ALS. The mean (±SD) ALSFRS-R scores at week 24 (33.75 ±3.3) and week 48 (32 ±7.8) after initiation of treatment with COYA 302 were not statistically different compared to the ALSFRS-R score at baseline (33.5 ±5.9), indicating significant amelioration in the progression of the disease over the 48-week treatment period.
Treg suppressive function, expressed as percentage of inhibition of proinflammatory T cell proliferation, showed a statistically significant increase over the course of the treatment period and was significantly reduced at the end of the 8-week washout post-treatment period. Treg suppressive function at 24 weeks (79.9±9.6) and 48 weeks (89.5±4.1) were significantly higher compared to baseline (62.1±8.1) (p<0.01), suggesting enhanced and durable Treg suppressive function over the course of treatment. In contrast, Treg suppressive function (mean ±SD) was significantly decreased at the end of the 8-week washout period compared to end-of-treatment at week 48 (70.3±8.1 vs. 89.5±4.1, p <0.05).
The study also evaluated serum biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and lipid peroxides. The available data up to 16 weeks after initiation of treatment suggest a decrease of these biomarker levels, which is consistent with the observed enhancement of Treg function. The evaluation of the full biomarker data is ongoing.
Stanley Appel M.D., Professor at Houston Methodist and Chair of Coya’s Scientific Advisory Board commented, “Our study with a combination of IL-2 and CTLA4-Ig provided promising results. The therapy was well tolerated, and most significantly it enhanced regulatory T lymphocytes suppressive functions, suppressed markers of oxidative stress, and ameliorated disease progression over 48 weeks. The average patient decline, as measured by ALSFRS-R, is approximately -1-point/month. In the present study there was no average decline from baseline to 24 weeks and we observed minimal average decline from baseline to 48 weeks, suggesting that IL-2 and CTLA4-Ig may provide a potentially meaningful approach for the 'unmet need' in ALS.”
“We believe the results of this initial proof-of-concept study in a small number of ALS patients are encouraging and warrant conducting a larger and controlled industry-sponsored study. ALS continues to be a disease of high unmet need and we are committed to develop COYA 302 as safely and as expeditiously as possible, in compliance with current regulations,” Adrian Hepner, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Coya commented. “We plan to file an IND with the FDA in the second half of 2023 and initiate a clinical study soon thereafter,” Dr. Hepner added.
About Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a rare neurological disease that affects motor neurons, the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. About 20,000 people live with ALS in the United States and approximately 5,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. The disease is progressive, meaning the symptoms get worse over time. The functional status of ALS patents declines about 1 point per month on average, as measured by the Revised ALS Function Rating Scale1, or ALSFRS-R, a validated tool to monitor the progression of the disease. ALS has no cure and there is no currently approved treatment to arrest its progression. ALS is a type of motor neuron disease. As motor neurons degenerate and die, they stop sending messages to the muscles, which causes the muscles to weaken, start to twitch (fasciculations), and waste away (atrophy). Eventually, the brain loses its ability to initiate and control voluntary movements. Most people with ALS die from respiratory failure, usually within three to five years from when the symptoms first appear.2
- Atassi N, et al. The PRO-ACT database: design, initial analyses, and predictive features. Neurology. 2014;83:1719–1725. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000951.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Website (https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/disorders/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als), accessed on March 14, 2023.
About Coya Therapeutics, Inc.
Headquartered in Houston, TX, Coya Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: COYA) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing proprietary treatments focused on the biology and potential therapeutic advantages of regulatory T cells (“Tregs”) to target systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation. Dysfunctional Tregs underlie numerous conditions including neurodegenerative, metabolic, and autoimmune diseases, and this cellular dysfunction may lead to a sustained inflammation and oxidative stress resulting in lack of homeostasis of the immune system. Coya’s investigational product candidate pipeline leverages multiple therapeutic modalities aimed at restoring the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory functions of Tregs. Coya’s therapeutic platforms include Treg-enhancing biologics, Treg-derived exosomes, and autologous Treg cell therapy. Coya’s 300 Series product candidates, COYA 301 and COYA 302, are biologic therapies intended to enhance Treg function and expand Treg numbers. COYA 301 is a cytokine biologic for subcutaneous administration intended to enhance Treg function and expand Treg numbers in vivo, and COYA 302 is a biologic combination for subcutaneous and/or intravenous administration intended to enhance Treg function while depleting T effector function and activated macrophages. These two mechanisms may be additive or synergistic in suppressing inflammation. For more information about Coya, please visit www.coyatherapeutics.com
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