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|Capnia and Essentialis Announce Merger to Create Rare Disease Therapeutics Company|
Enrollment in a Phase II/III Clinical Trial Expected to Begin in Second Half of 2017
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and CARLSBAD, Calif.,
Upon closing of the merger, Capnia expects to issue shares of common stock at
Anish Bhatnagar, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Capnia, stated, “We are excited to combine the strengths of these two dynamic organizations to create a leading rare disease therapeutics company that has the potential to bring a novel drug candidate to patients suffering with PWS, a devastating, often life-threatening disorder. While this transaction represents a new strategic direction for Capnia, it offers the potential of a highly-promising, late-stage clinical asset for a metabolic disorder for which no effective treatments currently exist. The new company, together with the
“Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare, genetic neurobehavioral/metabolic disorder, which results in diminished quality of life, as well as a risk of premature death for the patient and substantial caregiver burden,” said Neil M. Cowen, PhD, MBA, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Essentialis. “DCCR has a long and established safety record and has been shown in a Phase II trial to positively impact hyperphagia, which is perhaps the biggest obstacle to PWS patients and their families being able to lead normal lives. Statistically significant benefits were also observed in body composition and aggressive, threatening and destructive behaviors. Importantly, DCCR’s safety has been extensively addressed in multiple clinical trials and its parent molecule has a decades-long track record of safety and tolerability. We are eager to advance DCCR through its next phase of development, with the goal of addressing the highest priority unmet medical needs of PWS and improving the quality of life of PWS patients and their families.”
Key strategic benefits of the merger include:
Key Terms of the Merger
Under the terms of the merger agreement, upon the completion of the transaction, Capnia will acquire all outstanding shares of Essentialis. The merger transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions, including Capnia shareholder approval. The combined company will be led by Anish Bhatnagar, MD, Capnia’s Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Cowen will join the combined company as Senior Vice President of
Capnia intends to evaluate alternatives for its legacy products and product candidates, including CoSense® ETCO Monitor, Serenz® Allergy Relief, and its portfolio of innovative pulmonary resuscitation solutions for the neonatal market.
Clinical Data for DCCR in PWS
In a recently completed, open-label study with a randomized placebo-controlled withdrawal phase (clinical study PC025; n=13), DCCR demonstrated an approximately 32% reduction in hyperphagia (p=0.003), a highly significant and clinically relevant improvement on the highest priority symptom of the disorder. The mean effect on hyperphagia persisted for over 3 months for DCCR-treated individuals who continued on study through the double-blind treatment phase, and regressed back towards baseline in those randomized to placebo. In addition, statistically significant improvements were seen in other endpoints such as aggressive behaviors, body fat, lean body mass and cardiovascular risk factors. There were no new safety findings in this study and the adverse events profile (consisting mostly of mild to moderate AEs) was consistent with the known profile of diazoxide, DCCR’s parent molecule. These results were presented at the recent
This single-center study was conducted at the
PWS is a rare and complex genetic disorder affecting appetite, growth, metabolism, cognitive function and behavior. In the US, it is estimated that one in 12,000 to 15,000 people has PWS. This disorder is typically characterized by low muscle tone, short stature (when not treated with growth hormone), incomplete sexual development, cognitive disabilities, behavioral problems, and hyperphagia, a chronic feeling of insatiable hunger. Combined with a reduced metabolism, PWS can lead to excessive eating and without effective limitations on access to food, can result in morbid obesity. In a global survey conducted by the
About Diazoxide Choline Controlled Release
Diazoxide Choline Controlled Release (DCCR) is a novel, proprietary controlled-release, crystalline salt formulation of diazoxide which is administered as a once-daily tablet. The parent molecule, diazoxide, as an oral suspension, has been effective and used safely for decades as a first line therapy in a range of rare conditions such as hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia in neonates, children and adults. The DCCR development program is supported by positive data from two completed Phase II clinical studies and six completed Phase I clinical studies in various metabolic indications. DCCR was granted Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of PWS by the FDA on
Capnia is a leading provider and developer of innovative healthcare products to be used for the screening, detection and treatment of medical conditions. Capnia’s flagship products are based on its proprietary technologies, which utilize precision metering of gas flow. Capnia currently markets Serenz® Allergy Relief in the UK. The CoSense® ETCO Monitor measures ETCO, which can be used to detect hemolysis and the Infant Solutions product line, including innovative pulmonary resuscitation devices for neonates and infants, are marketed globally. Capnia is also clinically evaluating its nasal, non-inhaled CO2 technology to treat trigeminally-mediated pain conditions such as cluster headache and trigeminal neuralgia. For more information, please visit www.capnia.com.
Essentialis is a privately-held clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of breakthrough medicines for the treatment of rare metabolic diseases where there is increased mortality and risk of cardiovascular and endocrine complications.
Capnia’s Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to many risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things, our ability to complete the merger and initiate the Phase II/III trial in the second half of 2017.
We may use terms such as "believes," "estimates," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," "intends," "may," "could," "might," "will," "should," "approximately" or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Although we believe that we have a reasonable basis for each forward-looking statement contained herein, we caution you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this presentation. As a result of these factors, we cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements in this presentation will prove to be accurate. Additional factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in Capnia's Form 10-Q filed with the
Investor Relations Contact: Michelle Carroll/Glenn Garmont