In Follow-Up to Phase 1b Learning Study (FX-322-111), Some Subjects with Sensorineural Hearing Loss Show Increased Speech Perception Up to Twelve Months After Dosing
Frequency Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: FREQ), a clinical-stage regenerative medicine company focused on developing therapeutics to activate a person’s innate regenerative potential to restore human function, today announced that four additional sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) subjects from its FX-322-111 open-label study achieved statistically significant hearing improvements when evaluated 8 to 12 months following initial dosing.
Including the five initial responders, there are now a total of nine subjects that participated in the FX-322-111 study (n=32) that have been shown to have statistically significant improvements in word recognition scores, a key measure of speech perception, at time points between 90 days and one year.
These new results suggest that the hearing of individuals administered with a single dose of FX-322 may improve over extended periods. The longer-term measures of their treated ear demonstrated word recognition score improvements when compared to pre-treatment baseline levels and no significant changes were detected in their untreated ears. Of the five subjects that had a statistically significant response at day-90, the four that returned for evaluation had scores that remained above their baseline word recognition measures, though were below the threshold for statistical significance.
“These insights will guide future studies as we consider evaluating individuals over longer periods and add further flexibility to our trial designs, both to maximize the opportunity to observe these improvements, and better understand when increases in intelligibility may start to wane,” said David L. Lucchino, Frequency’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We also plan to assess individuals treated in our other studies to evaluate if those subjects may have experienced these longer-term benefits.”
FX-322 is Frequency’s lead product candidate for the treatment of acquired SNHL, which is the primary cause of more than 90 percent of all cases of hearing loss. FX-322 is designed to regenerate auditory sensory hair cells located in the cochlea within the inner ear and to potentially restore hearing in individuals with SNHL.
“These FX-322 data provide important learnings in the development of a potential hearing loss therapeutic, while showing meaningful improvements in speech perception,” said Sumit Dhar, Ph.D., Hugh Knowles Professor of Hearing Science and the Associate Provost for Faculty at Northwestern University. “The longer response times from certain study subjects is consistent with what we have seen with device interventions and would be expected given the heterogeneity of the auditory system and differences in etiologies, severities and duration of SNHL.”
The FX-322-111 study is an open-label, multi-center, single-dose trial designed to evaluate the impact of FX-322 injection conditions on tolerability, as well as key measures of hearing benefit. In the study, subjects with mild to severe SNHL (n=33) were injected in one ear with FX-322, with the untreated ear serving as the control. Hearing function was tested in 32 subjects (one subject did not finish the study) over the course of 90 days following dosing. Twenty-five subjects were subsequently evaluated at 8-12 months following FX-322 dosing, with four subjects that had shown improvement trends in word recognition scores at day-90 reaching statistically significant scores when tested at the later time points.
Subjects in the study had an array of hearing loss etiologies, including sudden SNHL, noise-induced SNHL and idiopathic SNHL. Additionally, the subjects ranged in severity from mild to severe. The single dose had a favorable safety profile and both injection conditions were well tolerated. Based on the overall learnings from the multiple FX-322 learning studies, the Company plans to initiate a new FX-322 Phase 2 trial in the fourth quarter of this year to evaluate the impact of single-dose FX-322 administration in a refined population of individuals with SNHL.
An overview of the FX-322-111 study will be shared in a late-breaking scientific presentation titled, A Second Independent Phase 1b Demonstrates Hearing Improvement with FX-322, at the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Annual Meeting and OTO experience, on October 4, 2021.
About Frequency Therapeutics
Frequency Therapeutics is leading a new category in regenerative medicine that aims to restore human function – first in hearing loss and then in multiple sclerosis (MS) – by developing therapeutics that activate a person’s innate regenerative potential within the body through the activation of progenitor cells. Frequency’s hearing research focuses on cochlear restoration and auditory repair, and its lead asset, FX-322, is a small-molecule product candidate that is the first to show statistically significant and clinically meaningful hearing improvements in clinical trials for sensorineural hearing loss. Frequency is also following early restorative signals in MS to develop medicines with the same underlying regenerative science being brought to hearing loss.
Headquartered in Lexington, Mass., Frequency has an ex-U.S. license and collaboration agreement with Astellas Pharma Inc. for FX-322, as well as additional collaboration and licensing agreements with academic and nonprofit research organizations including Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Mass General Brigham, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Scripps Research Institute and Cambridge Enterprises Limited. For more information, visit www.frequencytx.com and follow Frequency on Twitter @Frequencytx.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding the initiation, timing and design of the new Phase 2 trial of FX-322, the interpretation and implications of the results of the FX-322-111 study as well as the results from the follow-up to the FX-322-111 study, the plan to assess individuals in other trials for longer-term benefits, the design and timing of future studies of and clinical development path of FX-322, the treatment potential of FX-322, and our program to develop a product candidate for the treatment of multiple sclerosis; the ability of our technology platform to provide patient benefit, the ability to continue to develop our Progenitor Cell Activation (PCA) platform and identify additional product candidates, the timing of and the content to be disclosed during the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Annual Meeting and OTO experience, the timing and progress of the Company’s MS program, and the potential application of the (PCA) platform to other diseases.
These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following: the impact of COVID-19 on the Company’s ongoing and planned clinical trials, research and development and manufacturing activities, the Company’s business and financial markets; the Company has incurred and will continue to incur significant losses and is not and may never be profitable; the Company’s need for additional funding to complete development and commercialization of any product candidate; the Company’s dependence on the development of FX-322; the unproven approach of the PCA platform; the lengthy, expensive and uncertain process of clinical drug development and regulatory approval; limited experience successfully obtaining marketing approval for and commercializing product candidates; the results of earlier clinical trials not being indicative of the results from later clinical trials; differences between preliminary or interim data and final data; adverse events or undesirable side effects; disruptions at the FDA and other regulatory agencies; failure to identify additional product candidates; new or changed legislation; failure to maintain Fast Track designation for FX-322 and such designation failing to result in faster development or regulatory review or approval; costly and damaging litigation, including related to product liability or intellectual property or brought by stockholders; dependence on Astellas Pharma Inc. for the development and commercialization of FX-322 outside of the United States; misconduct by employees or independent contractors; reliance on third parties, including to conduct clinical trials and manufacture product candidates; compliance with laws and regulations, including healthcare and environmental, health, and safety laws and regulations; failure to obtain, maintain and enforce protection of patents and other intellectual property; security breaches or failure to protect private personal information; attracting and retaining key personnel; and ability to manage growth.
These and other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk factors” in the Company’s Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 12, 2021 and its other reports filed with the SEC could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this press release. While the Company may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it disclaims any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause its views to change. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.