Applied Therapeutics, Inc. (APLT)
First Day Turnover
We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of novel product candidates against validated molecular targets in indications of high unmet medical need. We focus on molecules and pathways whose role in the disease process is well known based on prior research, but have previously failed to yield successful products due to poor efficacy and tolerability. Our unique approach to drug development leverages recent technological advances to design improved drugs, employs early use of biomarkers to confirm biological activity and focuses on abbreviated regulatory pathways.
Our first molecular target is aldose reductase, or AR, an enzyme that converts glucose to sorbitol under oxidative stress conditions, and is implicated in multiple diseases. Prior attempts to inhibit this enzyme were hindered by nonselective, nonspecific inhibition, which resulted in limited efficacy and significant off-target safety effects. The detrimental consequences of aberrent AR activation have been well established by decades of prior research. Our AR inhibitor, or ARI, program currently includes three small molecules, which are all designed to be potent and selective ARIs, and are engineered to have unique tissue permeability profiles to target different disease states, including diabetic complications, heart disease and a rare pediatric metabolic disease. Applying our strategy from our ARI program, we have also developed a program targeting selective inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, or PI3K, subunits that has resulted in an early-stage oncology pipeline. The result of this unique multifaceted approach to drug development is a portfolio of highly specific and selective product candidates that we believe are significantly de-risked and can move quickly through the development process.
Our lead product candidate, AT-001, is a novel ARI with broad systemic exposure and peripheral nerve permeability that we are developing for the treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy, or DbCM, a fatal fibrosis of the heart. We are also developing AT-001 for diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or DPN, a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that significantly reduces quality of life and for which there are currently no approved treatments in the United States.
We recently completed a Phase 1/2 clinical trial studying AT-001 in 80 patients with type 2 diabetes, in which no drug-related adverse effects or tolerability issues were observed. This trial also demonstrated target engagement and proof of biological activity, as measured by reduction in sorbitol, a biomarker of AR activity. We plan to initiate a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial of AT-001 for the treatment of DbCM in 2019, which will also inform our DPN development program.
Our second product candidate, AT-007, is a central nervous system, or CNS, penetrant ARI that we are developing for the treatment of galactosemia, a devastating rare pediatric metabolic disease that affects how the body processes a simple sugar called galactose, and for which there is no known cure or approved treatment available. High levels of galactose circulating in the blood and tissues of galactosemia patients enable AR to convert galactose to a toxic metabolite, galactitol, which results in long-term complications ranging from CNS dysfunction to cataracts. We have demonstrated in an animal model of galactosemia that treatment with AT-007 reduces toxic galactitol levels and prevents disease complications. We believe that galactosemia may qualify for accelerated approval, as well as for the rare pediatric disease priority review voucher, or RPD-PRV, program.
Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, recently released draft guidance for industry on drug development for low prevalence, slowly progressing rare metabolic diseases, for which we believe galactosemia qualifies. The guidance allows for a biomarker-based development program if clinical efficacy and a link to a relevant biomarker can be demonstrated in an animal model of disease. We are currently in late stages of preclinical development and intend to advance AT-007 into a Phase 1 clinical trial in 2019.