Dimerix continues to develop new therapies in areas with unmet medical needs for global markets, now showing potential as a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Aussie clinical stage biotech Dimerix (ASX:DXB)  today announced DMX-700 was identified as a potential treatment of COPD, with a recent study delivering promising initial results in mice.

The company said new data showed strong efficacy of its pipeline program DMX-700 in an industry-standard preclinical model of (COPD).

DMX-700 was identified as a novel oral candidate for the treatment of COPD, a leading cause of death globally, using Dimerix’s proprietary Receptor-HIT platform.

DMX-700 targets signalling by an Interleukin 8 receptor beta (IL-8Rβ) and an angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) heteromer in COPD using two compounds together and achieves a synergistic effect in cells co-expressing IL-8Rβ and AT1R by blocking both receptors simultaneously.


Study in mice positive

In the study, the activity of DMX-700 was tested in mice using an oral dose delivery in the porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) model of COPD.

This is the most common model as it mimics the inflammatory response and leads to the breakdown of lung tissue and emphysema, which means shortness of breath.

DMX-700 resulted in a statistically significant 80% (p<0.01, n=6) reduction in the PPE-induced lung injury in mice.

In contrast, inhibiting only AT1R or IL-8Rβ individually had no statistically significant effect on lung injury induced by PPE.


Further development of DMX-700

The encouraging and statistically significant pre-clinical data strongly supports further   development of DMX-700.

Dimerix assessed three different IL-8Rβ inhibitors with an AT1R inhibitor in the pre-clinical model, with all three IL-8β inhibitors demonstrating strong efficacy outcomes and all covered by Dimerix intellectual property.

Further intellectual property has been identified and an additional patent application is underway.

The DMX-700 compounds individually have a known safety profile in human studies, meaning DMX-700 may potentially move directly into clinical studies, subject to  regulatory  approval.

The  clinical  trial  will  now  be  designed,  along  with  any  further  required non-clinical safety studies, with the initial clinical study expected to start in the first half 2023.

Dimerix CEO and managing director Dr Nina Webster said that Dimerix has now established  that blocking  the  known  targets  of  COPD  with DMX-700 at  the  same  time results in a statistically significant decrease in lung injury that leads to fibrosis, or scarring.

“These new results confirm the efficacy of DMX-700 in an industry-standard preclinical COPD model reducing  lung  injury  by  80%,” she said.

“This information should provide significant encouragement to clinical investigators and patients in our planned clinical trials of DMX-700 in this devastating  disease.”

“Our  now  expanding  clinical  pipeline  will  strengthen  our  ongoing  discussions with potential commercial and strategic partners.”


Third leading cause of death

COPD  is  a  progressive  and  life-threatening  lung  disease and is the third leading cause of death worldwide, causing 3.23 million deaths globally in 2019.

The most common cause of COPD is exposure to tobacco smoke, either active smoking or secondary smoke.

However, it is also caused by exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution, occupational dusts and fumes and long-term asthma.

Although treatments exist to improve the symptoms of COPD, there is currently no way to slow progression of the condition or a cure.

The global COPD treatment market was valued at US$17.68 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.28% to reach US$27 billion by 2027.

 There  is  a  significant  unmet  need  in  COPD,  which  is  recognised  by  key  organisations  including  the  National  Institutes  of  Health  (NIH), World  Health  Organization  (WHO)  and  Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2021 the NIH released the revised COPD National Action Plan to support research, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease.

Following this recognition,  in  2018  the  FDA  issued  revised  guidance  to  help  sponsors  developing  drugs  to  treat  COPD.

The  new  guidance  will  enable  shorter  clinical  trials  using  surrogate  and  patient-reported end points.


Dimerix targets unmet medical needs

Dimerix is developing a range of innovative new therapies in areas with unmet medical needs for global markets.

Dimerix is developing its lead drug DMX-200, for Focal Segmental  Glomerulosclerosis  (FSGS),  respiratory  complications  associated  with  COVID-19  and  Diabetic  Kidney  Disease.

Recruitment into its REMAP-CAP study into Dimerix’s DMX-200 in all COVID-19 patients has now closed with results expected to start being analysed shortly.

Dimerix is also progressing its ACTION3 Phase 3 global clinical trial study on the effects of DMX-200 on patients with rare kidney disease focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).

In June Dimerix announced it had entered into an agreement with The Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI).


This article was developed in collaboration with Dimerix, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.