Special Report: Dimerix (ASX:DXB) is planning another study evaluating the use of its lead drug candidate to treat diabetic kidney disease – a potential $8 billion market opportunity.

The Melbourne biotech company’s Medical Advisory Board has just finished a formal assessment of a phase 2 study testing DMX-200 in 40 diabetic kidney patients that concluded in September, and report that these encouraging data supports the further development of the chemokine receptor (CCR2) blocker to treat the disease.

During the second treatment period of the study, the 26 patients with the most progressive kidney disease signs had a 37% reduction in levels of a protein on DMX-200 compared to those on placebo. This reduction in the protein seen in the urine suggests that the inflammation in the kidney had been reduced and the disease progression slowed. The result is very much in line with the Dimerix study completed in 2017, where diabetic patients achieved a 36% reduction in that same protein compared to baseline, and which prompted the company to initiate the 2020 Phase 2 clinical study.

“Importantly, these reductions in albuminuria are in addition to any reduction that occurred on the background therapy of an angiotensin receptor blocker,” Dimerix said, referring to the standard treatment for diabetic kidney disease.

The data also indicated that albuminuria levels were trending downwards at both DMX-200 treatment periods, suggesting that greater albuminuria reductions could be seen with a longer treatment duration – which would be a great outcome for patients with diabetic kidney disease.

Dimerix is now assessing the design of a longer study to assess the long-term effects of DMX‑200 in diabetic kidney disease patients. Last year’s study involved two 12-week cross-over treatment periods.

“The trends observed in this relatively short study warrants further investigation, and I look forward to working with Dimerix on the design of this next stage of development,” said Dr Hiddo Heerspink, chair of the Dimerix Medical Advisory Board.

DMX-200 aims to reduce inflammation and is thought to be effective in diseases where active inflammatory processes are driving disease progression.

The oral drug is being tested in two different Phase 3 studies as a treatment for the respiratory distress caused by COVID-19, and Dimerix is also planning to begin a phase 3 study using DMX-200 as a treatment for a rare kidney disease known as FSGS (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis) this year.

Dimerix also announced Thursday that the first patient treated with DMX-200 on compassionate grounds will celebrate four years of ongoing treatment next month.

The patient, one of many kidney disease patients who has accessed DMX-200 under the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme, has been on DMX-200 continuously since February 2017, Dimerix said.

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.