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Positive data for Acesion’s atrial fibrillation candidates

The company intends to advance AF drugs that address current risk concerns with existing therapies.

Acesion Pharma – a company focusing on atrial fibrillation (AF) therapies – has announced positive data from pre-clinical studies of its AP31969 treatment.

The candidate is a second-generation oral SK channel inhibitor specifically developed to prevent AF recurrence.

Ultimately, Acesion intends to advance AF drugs that address the primary concern with existing therapies – the high risk of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia, also known as proarrhythmia.

In order to determine proarrhythmia risk in respect of the drug, regulators, academics and the wider industry have collaborated on developing pre-clinical models with this purpose in mind. Among two of the other models, AP31969 has established a low risk of proarrhythmia with a clear distinction between other AF drugs, which have previously shown a high risk of the side effect.

Furthermore, the candidate’s promising cardiac safety profile has demonstrated good oral pharmacokinetic properties across various animal species.

Meanwhile, AP30663, Acesion’s SK ion channel inhibitor for conversion of AF to normal sinus rhythm, has also demonstrated significant efficacy in patients with AF. Another candidate, AP31969 has completed toxicology studies required by regulatory authorities, in anticipation of a phase 1 trial which Acesion plans to commence later in 2023.

Anders Gaarsdal Holst, chief executive officer of Acesion, was confident that the results could make a long-term difference to the lives of patients with AF: “With a growing number of patients suffering from AF, there is a significant need for treatment. Unfortunately, all existing drugs have major safety issues that endanger patients.”

He added: “Acesion’s positive pre-clinical results support that AP31969 has the potential to solve these issues and greatly broaden the use of pharmacological treatment within AF. We are excited to continue the development of AP31969 with a phase 1 clinical trial and look forward to the continued progress we will make in the coming year.”