ORYZON reports results and corporate update for first half ended June 30, 2021
MADRID, SPAIN and CAMBRIDGE, MA, UNITED STATES, July 29th, 2020 – Oryzon Genomics, S.A. (ISIN Code: ES0167733015, ORY), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging epigenetics to develop therapies in diseases with strong unmet medical need, today reported financial results for the first half of 2021 and provided an update on recent developments.
Dr Carlos Buesa, Oryzon’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Oryzon continued to make strong progress on our clinical pipeline this quarter, with very positive data from iadademstat’s Phase II trial in acute myeloid leukemia. The 30-month data we recently reported continued to confirm a very robust percentage of responses, with responses also maturing in longer times of remission, extending survival. We believe the combination approaches with iadademstat will increase therapeutic options for acute myeloid leukemia patients in first line, as well as for refractory or intolerant patients who have received BCL2 inhibitors as first line.
“Our CNS pipeline reached important milestones with Investigational New Drug approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for our Phase IIb trial with vafidemstat in Borderline Personality Disorder, PORTICO and Clinical Trial Application approval of our Phase IIb trial with vafidemstat in Schizophrenia, EVOLUTION, in Europe. The initiation of PORTICO also highlights the importance of our growing U.S. clinical activities. Furthermore, vafidemstat also showed clear anti-inflammatory responses in moderate and severe CoVID-19 patients in our two-arm, randomized Phase II study, ESCAPE. We finished this second quarter with a reinforced cash position of $40.1 million, which provides funding for further development of our exciting pipeline until 1Q 2023.”
First Half and Recent Highlights
Iadademstat in oncology:
- Phase II ALICE trial, investigating iadademstat in combination with azacitidine in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), continues recruitment. The preliminary results corresponding to the 30 months of the study, presented at the EHA 2021 congress, show robust signs of clinical efficacy, with ORR of 83%, of which 67% are CR/CRi. Five patients with remissions greater than one year were reported and the longest remission of 858 days, is still ongoing. The responses appear early. The combination of iadademstat and azacitidine continues to show a good safety profile. The company plans to present a new clinical update on ALICE at the ASH 2021 congress.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Orphan Drug Designation granted to iadademstat for the treatment of AML. The drug now has orphan designation in both U.S. and EU.
- New trials in combination in AML and solid tumors are under preparation. The company believes that there is potential for fast market regulatory paths in both areas. Oryzon expects to announce further details in 2H 2021.
Vafidemstat in neurological and inflammatory disease:
- Actively recruiting patients in the Phase IIb clinical trial with vafidemstat in patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The study, named PORTICO, is a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase IIb to evaluate the efficacy and safety of vafidemstat in BPD patients. The trial has two primary objectives: reduction of aggression/agitation and overall BPD improvement. The study will include 156 patients, with 78 patients in each arm, and has a pre-defined interim analysis to adjust the sample size in case of excessive variability around the endpoints or an unexpectedly high placebo rate. The trial will be conducted in 15-20 sites in Europe and US, with three Spanish hospitals activated in the first stage.
- Following a successful pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) meeting with the FDA, Oryzon submitted an IND application for vafidemstat to perform PORTICO in the second quarter of 2021. The company has received confirmation from the FDA of IND authorization to conduct this trial.
- Received Clinical Trial Application (CTA) approval from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) to carry out a Phase IIb clinical trial with vafidemstat in patients with schizophrenia. This Phase IIb study, called EVOLUTION, aims to evaluate the efficacy of vafidemstat on negative symptoms and cognitive impairment in patients with schizophrenia. Recruitment is expected to begin during the summer. This project is partially financed with public funds from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and will be carried out in various Spanish hospitals.
- The collaborations in the field of autism with researchers at the Seaver Center for Autism Research and Treatment at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and the Institute of Medical and Molecular Genetics (INGEMM) at Hospital Universitario La Paz of Madrid continue to advance. The collaboration in precision medicine in schizophrenia with researchers from Columbia University in New York has also made progress. The results of the ongoing pilot studies to characterize these patients with specific mutations to inform subsequent precision psychiatry clinical trials with vafidemstat are expected in the second half of 2021.
- Preliminary data from vafidemstat’s clinical study in seriously ill patients with CoVID-19, ESCAPE, presented at the 31st European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, ECCMID-2021. This open-label, randomized, double-arm Phase II trial was aimed to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of vafidemstat in combination with standard treatment used in hospitals to prevent progression to acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The trial recruited 60 patients. Vafidemstat was safe and well tolerated in severe CoVID-19 patients. The anti-inflammatory effects of vafidemstat have been confirmed in severe CoVID-19 patients. Vafidemstat reduced the exacerbated activation of CD4 + T cells and reduced the release of key inflammatory cytokines. There were no significant differences in the number of deaths between the two arms of the study and the patients in both arms of the study recovered quickly.
Financial Update: First Half 2021 Financial Results
Research and development (R&D) expenses were $2.9 and $7.3 million for the quarter and 6 months ended June 30, 2021, compared to $2.7 and $7.1 million for the quarter and 6 months ended June 30, 2020.
General and administrative expenses were $1.20 and $2.5 million for the quarter and 6 months ended June 30, 2021, compared to $0.9 and $1.8 million for the quarter and 6 months ended June 30, 2020.
Net losses were $1.9 and $3.9 million for the quarter and 6 months ended June 30, 2021, compared to net losses of $1.3 and $2.5 million for the quarter and 6 months ended June 30, 2020. This is due to a higher investment in research and non-capitalized development of the ESCAPE clinical trial and non-recurring expenses. The result is in accordance with the specificity of the biotechnology business model, in the development phase of the Company, with a long-term maturation period for its products, and without recurrent income.
Negative net result of $1.2 million (-$0.02 per share) for the first 6 months ended June 30, 2021, compared to a negative net result of $1.5 million (- $0,03 per share) for the first 6 months ended June 30, 2020.
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities totaled $40.1 million as of June 30, 2021, compared to $54.9 million as of June 30, 2020.
Founded in 2000 in Barcelona, Spain, Oryzon (ISIN Code: ES0167733015) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company considered as the European champion in Epigenetics. Oryzon has one of the strongest portfolios in the field. Oryzon’s LSD1 program has rendered two compounds, vafidemstat and iadademstat, in Phase II clinical trials. In addition, Oryzon has ongoing programs for developing inhibitors against other epigenetic targets. Oryzon has a strong technological platform for biomarker identification and performs biomarker and target validation for a variety of malignant and neurological diseases. Oryzon has offices in Spain and the United States. Oryzon is one of the most liquid biotech stocks in Europe with +90 M shares negotiated in 2020 (ORY:SM / ORY.MC / ORYZF US OTC mkt). For more information, visit
Iadademstat (ORY-1001) is a small oral molecule, which acts as a highly selective inhibitor of the epigenetic enzyme LSD1 and has a powerful differentiating effect in hematologic cancers (see Maes et al., Cancer Cell 2018 Mar 12; 33 (3): 495-511.e12.doi: 10.1016 / j.ccell.2018.02.002.). A first Phase I/IIa clinical trial with iadademstat in refractory and relapsed acute leukemia patients demonstrated the safety and good tolerability of the drug and preliminary signs of antileukemic activity, including a CRi. Beyond hematological cancers, the inhibition of LSD1 has been proposed as a valid therapeutic approach in some solid tumors such as small cell lung cancer (SCLC), neuroendocrine tumors, medulloblastoma and others. Iadademstat has been tested in four clinical trials (two in monotherapy in SCLC and AML, and two in combination, in SCLC and AML) in more than 100 patients. In the combination studies, ALICE (ongoing), a Phase IIa trial in combination with azacitidine in elderly or unfit AML patients, and CLEPSIDRA (finalized), a Phase IIa trial in combination with platinum/etoposide in second line ED-SCLC patients, preliminary efficacy results have been reported.
Vafidemstat (ORY-2001) is an oral, CNS optimized LSD1 inhibitor. The molecule acts on several levels: it reduces cognitive impairment, including memory loss and neuroinflammation, and at the same time has neuroprotective effects. In animal studies vafidemstat not only restores memory but reduces the exacerbated aggressiveness of SAMP8 mice, a model for accelerated aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), to normal levels and also reduces social avoidance and enhances sociability in murine models. In addition, vafidemstat exhibits fast, strong and durable efficacy in several preclinical models of multiple sclerosis (MS). Oryzon has performed two Phase IIa clinical trials in aggressiveness in patients with different psychiatric disorders (REIMAGINE) and in aggressive/agitated patients with moderate or severe AD (REIMAGINE-AD), with positive preliminary clinical results reported in both. Additional finalized Phase IIa clinical trials with vafidemstat include the ETHERAL trial in patients with Mild to Moderate AD, where a significant reduction of the inflammatory biomarker YKL40 has been observed after 6 months of treatment, and the pilot, small scale SATEEN trial in Relapse-Remitting and Secondary Progressive MS. Two Phase IIb trials in borderline personality disorder (PORTICO) and in schizophrenia patients (EVOLUTION) have been recently authorized. The company is also deploying a CNS precision medicine approach with vafidemstat in genetically-defined patient subpopulations of certain CNS disorders. Vafidemstat is also being explored in a Phase II in severe Covid-19 patients (ESCAPE) assessing the capability of the drug to prevent ARDS, one of the most severe complications of the viral infection.
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