We believe gemcabene possesses a differentiated product profile compared to other therapies in the market and in clinical development. Key attributes of our product candidate include the following:
- Cost-effective, once-daily, oral therapy. Gemcabene is a small molecule formulated as a tablet and is cost effective to manufacture. As a once-daily, oral therapy, gemcabene, if approved, would be more convenient than other non-statin therapies, many of which require frequent injections or multiple daily doses. We expect to take a value-based approach to pricing across all the target indications.
- Promising safety and tolerability. Gemcabene was observed to be well tolerated in over 900 subjects across 20 Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials both as monotherapy and in combination with statins. No subjects died and no subjects experienced a serious adverse event (SAE) that was considered to be related to gemcabene. Adverse events (AEs) reported were generally mild to moderate in intensity. Gemcabene did not appear to increase the reporting of myalgia (muscle pain) when added to statin therapy and no treatment related events of myalgia were reported in any gemcabene monotherapy arm in the dyslipidemia trials.
- First-in-class mechanism. Gemcabene’s pleotropic mechanism of action hits multiple established targets that lower LDL-C, TG, and hsCRP in plasma. Gemcabene has been observed to reduce production of cholesterol and triglyceride pathways inside the liver. This gemcabene effect may be due to inhibition of acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC) and HMG-CoA Synthase in the liver. Gemcabene has also been shown to enhance clearance of VLDL in the plasma. This is likely due to gemcabene’s effect on reduction of apoC-III gene expression and reduction of plasma apoC-III levels, which may facilitate the uptake of VLDL remnants via hepatic remnant receptors. Gemcabene’s effects on hsCRP may be due to its effect on reduction of IL-6 expression, as well as its direct effects on inhibiting transcription factors C/EBP-β and NF-kB interaction with the CRP gene.
- Significant lipid-lowering of LDL-C, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and triglycerides. In Phase 2 trials, patients with hypercholesterolemia treated with gemcabene as monotherapy were observed to have significantly lowered LDL-C by approximately 30% from baseline and significantly lowered hsCRP by approximately 40% from baseline. In addition, patients with hypertriglyceridemia (≥200 mg/dL) were observed to have significantly lowered triglycerides by approximately 40%, and based on post-hoc analysis, gemcabene was observed to lower triglycerides by up to 60% in patients with severe triglyceride levels (≥500 mg/dL). Our product candidate’s ability to meaningfully lower levels of multiple key lipids attributable to cardiovascular disease may expand its use across multiple indications within the dyslipidemia and NASH Market.
- Additive effect in combination with statins. In a Phase 2 trial in patients with uncontrolled hypercholesterolemia while on stable statin therapy (Trial 2017-018), gemcabene was observed to significantly lower LDL-C by an additional 25% to 31% from baseline. This data indicates that gemcabene may better treat a large population of patients who are unable to reach their lipid goal with statins and other currently prescribed therapies, including those medications commonly used for diabetes and NASH patients.
- No drug-drug interactions when combined with high-intensity statin doses. In two Phase 1 trials, gemcabene was tested in combination with high-intensity statin doses, 80 mg simvastatin and 80 mg atorvastatin. No clinically relevant drug-drug interactions were observed. In addition, gemcabene has been formulated as a fixed-dose combination tablet with various atorvastatin doses, which may offer additional convenience and compliance to patients.