Insmed (INSM) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the unmet needs of patients with rare diseases. Its lead product candidate is ARIKAYCE, or amikacin liposome inhalation suspension (ALIS) (formerly known as liposomal amikacin for inhalation, or LAI), which is in late-stage development for adult patients with treatment refractory nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung disease caused by Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), a rare and often chronic infection that can cause irreversible lung damage and can be fatal. Its earlier clinical-stage pipeline includes INS1007 and INS1009. INS1007 is a novel oral, reversible inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (DPP1), an enzyme responsible for activating neutrophil serine proteases, which are implicated in the pathology of chronic inflammatory lung diseases, such as non-cystic fibrosis (non-CF) bronchiectasis. INS1009 is an inhaled nanoparticle formulation of a treprostinil prodrug that may offer a differentiated product profile for rare pulmonary disorders, including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).1

Product Candidate/Target

Insmed's earlier-stage pipeline includes preclinical compounds that Insmed is evaluating in multiple rare diseases of unmet medical need, including methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA) and NTM. To complement its internal research and development, the company actively evaluate in-licensing and acquisition opportunities for a broad range of rare diseases.


Insmed's strategy focuses on the needs of patients with rare diseases. Insmed is currently primarily focused on the development and commercialization of ALIS. Insmed is not aware of any inhaled products specifically indicated to treat refractory NTM lung disease in North America, Japan or Europe. While the company believe that ALIS has the potential to treat a number of different bacterial infections, Insmed is prioritizing securing US regulatory approval of ALIS for adult patients with refractory NTM lung disease caused by MAC. Insmed is also advancing earlier-stage programs in other rare pulmonary disorders.

Current priorities are as follows:

  • Completing the CONVERT study;
  • Subject to the results of the CONVERT study, preparing a New Drug Application (NDA) for submission to the FDA for ALIS based on the primary endpoint of that study;
  • Ensuring its product supply chain will support the clinical development and, if approved, commercialization of ALIS;
  • Preparing for potential commercialization of ALIS in the US, Japan, certain countries in Europe, and certain other countries;
  • Developing the core value dossier to support the global reimbursement of ALIS;
  • Supporting further research and lifecycle management strategies for ALIS, including exploring the potential use of ALIS as part of a front-line, multi-drug regimen and as maintenance monotherapy to prevent recurrence (defined as true relapse or reinfection) of NTM lung disease;
  • Starting enrollment of the WILLOW phase 2 study of INS1007 in non-CF bronchiectasis pending the IND becoming effective;
  • Generating preclinical findings from its earlier-stage program(s); and
  • Expanding its rare disease pipeline through corporate development.

Product Pipeline

ALIS for patients with NTM lung disease

Insmed's lead product candidate is ALIS, a novel, once-daily liposomal formulation of amikacin that is in late-stage clinical development for adult patients with treatment refractory NTM lung disease caused by MAC, a rare and often chronic infection that can cause irreversible lung damage and which can be fatal. Amikacin solution for parenteral administration is an established drug that has activity against a variety of NTM; however, its use is limited by the need to administer it intravenously and by toxicity to hearing, balance, and kidney function (Peloquin et al., 2004). Unlike intravenous amikacin, its advanced liposome technology uses charge-neutral liposomes to deliver amikacin directly to the lung where it is taken up by the lung macrophages where the NTM infection resides. This technology prolongs the release of amikacin in the lungs while minimizing systemic exposure thereby offering the potential for decreased systemic toxicities. ALIS’s ability to deliver high levels of amikacin directly to the lung distinguishes it from intravenous amikacin. ALIS is administered once-daily, using a portable aerosol delivery system, via an optimized, investigational eFlow® Nebulizer System manufactured by PARI.

The FDA has designated ALIS as an orphan drug, a breakthrough therapy, and a QIDP for NTM lung disease. Orphan designation features seven years of post-approval marketing exclusivity in the approved indication, and QIDP features an additional five years of post-approval exclusivity in the approved indication. As a result, ALIS would have 12 years of post-approval marketing exclusivity in the US, if approved. A QIDP-designated product is eligible for fast track status and is often granted priority review statit. A priority review designation for a drug means the FDA’s goal is to take action on the NDA within six months following the 60-day filing date, as compared to within 10 months following the 60-day filing date under a standard review.

The CONVERT study and 312 study

ALIS is currently being evaluated in a phase 3 randomized, open-label clinical study taking place in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia that is designed to confirm the culture conversion results seen in its phase 2 clinical trial, which the company expect will provide the basis for submitting an NDA to the FDA. Because the highest response to ALIS treatment in its phase 2 study was observed in the subgroup of non-CF patients with NTM lung infection caused by MAC, the CONVERT study is comprised of non-CF patients 18 years and older with an NTM lung infection caused by MAC that is refractory to a stable multi-drug regimen for at least six months, with the regimen either ongoing or interrupted within 12 months of screening. The CONVERT study excludes patients whose susceptibility scores indicate that their MAC lung infection may be resistant to amikacin or who have a history of lung transplantation. The company achieved its enrollment objective for the CONVERT study in 2016 and, in July 2017, the company reported that all remaining patients had progressed beyond the Month 6 visit.

After a screening period of approximately 10 weeks, eligible patients were randomized 2:1 to once-daily ALIS plus a multi-drug regimen or a multi-drug regimen without ALIS. The first analysis, after the last patient has completed Month 6, will be based on the primary efficacy endpoint comparing the proportion of patients who achieve culture conversion (three consecutive monthly negative sputum cultures) by Month 6 in the ALIS plus multi-drug regimen arm to the proportion of patients who achieve culture conversion in the arm in which patients receive a multi-drug regimen without ALIS. The study’s key secondary endpoint in the first analysis includes the change from baseline in the six-minute walk test. The company expect to report top-line results for the CONVERT study in September 2017 plus or minus one month. Subsequent analyses will examine off-treatment assessments to evaluate the durability of the anti-mycobacterial effect on sputum culture by assessing the durability of culture conversion at 3 months and 12 months off all treatment in patients that achieve conversion. The study also includes a comprehensive pharmacokinetic sub-study in Japanese patients in lieu of a separate local pharmacokinetic study in Japan.

At Month 8, after all sputum culture results are known up to and including Month 6, patients will be assessed as converters (those achieving culture conversion by Month 6) or non-converters for the primary efficacy endpoint. All converters will continue on their randomized treatment regimen for 12 months following the first negative sputum culture that defined conversion. All converters will return for off-treatment follow-up visits. A 12-month off-treatment study visit will be the last visit for the CONVERT study.

All non-converters, as determined at the Month 8 visit, may be eligible to enter a separate 12-month, single-arm, open-label study (the 312 study). The primary objective of the 312 study is to evaluate the long-term safety and tolerability of ALIS in combination with a standard multi-drug regimen. The secondary endpoints of the 312 study include evaluating the proportion of patients achieving culture conversion (three consecutive monthly negative sputum cultures) by Month 6 and the proportion of patients achieving culture conversion by Month 12 (end of treatment).

The protocol for the CONVERT study incorporates feedback from the FDA and the EMA via its scientific advice working party process, as well as local health authorities in other countries, including Japan’s PMDA. If the CONVERT study meets the primary endpoint of culture conversion by Month 6, the company believe the company would be eligible to submit an NDA pursuant to 21 C.F.R. Part 314 Subpart H (Accelerated Approval of New Drugs for Serious or Life-Threatening Illnesses), which permits the FDA to approve a product candidate based on a surrogate or intermediate endpoint, provided information the company commit to study the product candidate further to verify and describe the confirmatory data of its clinical benefit and (ii) the FDA concurs with other aspects of the NDA. The company believe that efficacy data from the CONVERT study after Month 6 in combination with the durability data, if successful, will suffice to meet both the accelerated and confirmatory data requirements. The company expect that full approval would be contingent on FDA review of, among other things, the final analyses of sustainability and durability of culture conversion for converters.

Phase 2 Study (or 112 Study)

Insmed's completed phase 2 study (or 112 study) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that evaluated the efficacy and safety of ALIS in adults with NTM lung disease due to MAC or M. abscessus that was refractory to guideline-based therapy. In October 2016, the results from the phase 2 study were published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Olivier et al. 2016).

The study included an 84-day double-blind phase in which patients were randomized 1:1 either to ALIS once-daily plus a multi-drug regimen or to placebo once-daily plus a multi-drug regimen. After completing the 84-day double-blind phase, patients had the option of continuing in an 84-day open-label phase during which all patients received ALIS plus the same multi-drug regimen. The study also included 28-day and 12-month off-ALIS follow-up assessments. Eighty-nine (89) patients were randomized and dosed in the study. Of the 80 patients who completed the 84-day double-blind phase, 78 patients entered the open-label phase and received ALIS plus the same multi-drug regimen for an additional 84 days. Seventy-six (76) percent (59/78) of patients who entered the open-label phase of the study completed the open-label study.

The primary efficacy endpoint of the study was the change from baseline (Day 1) to the end of the double-blind phase of the trial (Day 84) in a semi-quantitative measurement of mycobacterial density on a seven-point scale. ALIS did not meet the pre-specified level for statistical significance although there was a positive trend (p=0.072) in favor of ALIS. The p-value for the key secondary endpoint of culture conversion to negative at Day 84 was 0.003, in favor of ALIS. A shorter time to first negative sputum culture was also observed with ALIS relative to placebo during the double-blind phase (p=0.013).

The microbiologic outcomes from the 112 study were also explored post hoc using a more stringent definition of culture conversion, which was defined as at least three consecutive monthly sputum samples that test negative for NTM, consistent with the definition of culture conversion in the guidelines and in clinical practice. Twenty-three (23) patients achieved at least three consecutive negative monthly sputum samples by the 28-day follow-up assessment, of which four started to convert at baseline prior to administration of study drug. For the other 19 patients who achieved culture conversion, 17 achieved culture conversion after receiving ALIS (10 during the double-blind phase and seven after entering the open-label phase, of which six received ALIS for the first time in the open-label phase). Two patients achieved culture conversion while receiving placebo during the double-blind phase. The majority of patients who achieved culture conversion (three consecutive negative monthly sputum samples) during the double-blind phase continued to have negative cultures through the open-label and follow-up phases.

At the end of the double-blind phase, the ALIS group improved from baseline in mean distance walked in the six-minute walk test. At the end of the open-label phase, patients in the ALIS group continued to improve in the mean distance walked in the six-minute walk test, while the patients who previously received placebo in the double-blind phase and subsequently received ALIS in the open-label phase demonstrated a reduced rate of decline from baseline.

Approximately ninety (90) percent of patients in both treatment groups experienced at least one treatment-emergent adverse event, with most events either mild or moderate in severity. During the double-blind phase a greater percentage of patients treated with ALIS experienced, among others, dysphonia, bronchiectasis exacerbation, cough, oropharyngeal pain, fatigue, chest discomfort, wheezing, and infective pulmonary exacerbation of cystic fibrosis. No clinically relevant changes were detected in laboratory values and vital signs.

Further research and lifecycle management for ALIS

Insmed is currently exploring and supporting research and lifecycle management programs for ALIS beyond refractory NTM lung infections caused by MAC. Specifically, Insmed is evaluating future study strategies focusing on the MAC disease treatment pathway, including front-line treatment and monotherapy maintenance to prevent recurrence (defined as true relapse or reinfection) of NTM lung disease. If the data from the CONVERT study is sufficient to support its marketing authorization applications and regulatory bodies approve ALIS for the treatment of refractory NTM lung disease caused by MAC, such lifecycle management studies could enable it to reach more potential patients. These initiatives may include new clinical studies sponsored by it or investigator-initiated studies, which are clinical studies initiated and sponsored by physicians or research institutions with funding from it.

Japan NTM lung disease market opportunity

Insmed is currently exploring the NTM market opportunity for ALIS in Japan. If the data from the CONVERT study is sufficient to support its marketing authorization applications, and the FDA approves ALIS for the treatment of refractory NTM lung disease caused by MAC, the company expect its second regulatory filing after the US to be in Japan. The company plan to establish a presence in Japan in 2018 assuming positive data from the CONVERT study, including hiring local employees to closely manage its regulatory and pre-commercial footprint.

Under the Japanese regulatory system administered by the PMDA, pre-marketing approval and clinical studies are required for all pharmaceutical products. To obtain manufacturing/marketing approval, a Company must submit an application for approval to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) with results of nonclinical and clinical studies to show the quality, efficacy and safety of a new product candidate. A data compliance review, on-site inspection for good clinical practice, audit and detailed data review for compliance with current good manufacturing practices are undertaken by the PMDA. The application is then discussed by the committees of the Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council (PAFSC). Based on the results of these reviews, the final decision on approval is made by MHLW. In Japan, the National Health Insurance system maintains a Drug Price List specifying which pharmaceutical products are eligible for reimbursement, and the MHLW sets the prices of the products on this list. After receipt of marketing approval, negotiations regarding the reimbursement price with MHLW would begin. Price would be determined within 60 to 90 days unless the applicant disagrees, which may result in extended pricing negotiations. The government generally introduces price cut rounds every other year and also mandates price decreases for specific products. New products judged innovative or useful, that are indicated for pediatric use, or that target orphan or small population diseases, however, may be eligible for a pricing premium. The government has also promoted the use of generics, where available.


INS1007 is a small molecule, oral, reversible inhibitor of DPP1, which the company in-licensed from AstraZeneca in October 2016. DPP1 is an enzyme responsible for activating neutrophil serine proteases in neutrophils when they are formed in the bone marrow. Neutrophils are the most common type of white blood cell and play an essential role in pathogen destruction and inflammatory mediation. Neutrophils contain three neutrophil serine proteases, neutrophil elastase, proteinase 3, and cathepsin G, that have been implicated in a variety of inflammatory diseases. In chronic inflammatory lung diseases, neutrophils accumulate in the airways and release active neutrophil serine proteases in excess that cause lung destruction and inflammation. INS1007 may decrease the damaging effects of inflammatory diseases, such as non-CF bronchiectasis, by inhibiting DPP1 and its activation of neutrophil serine proteases.

Non-CF bronchiectasis is a rare, progressive pulmonary disorder in which the bronchi become permanently dilated due to chronic inflammation and infection. Currently, there is no cure, and Insmed is not aware of any approved therapies for non-CF bronchiectasis.

The WILLOW study

Insmed is in preparations for the WILLOW study, a global phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, multi-center clinical study to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of, INS1007 administered once daily for 24 weeks in subjects with non-CF bronchiectasis. Pending the IND becoming effective, the company expect to commence enrollment in the study in the second half of 2017. In addition, Insmed is evaluating the potential of INS1007 in other indications.

Phase 1 study results

In a phase 1 study of healthy volunteers conducted by AstraZeneca, INS1007 (previously AZD7986) was well tolerated and demonstrated inhibition of the activity of the neutrophil serine protease neutrophil elastase in a dose and concentration dependent manner. In preclinical studies, it was shown to reversibly inhibit DPP1 and the activation of neutrophil serine proteases within maturing neutrophils.


INS1009 is an investigational sustained-release inhaled treprostinil prodrug nanoparticle formulation that has the potential to address certain of the current limitations of existing prostanoid therapies. The company believe that INS1009 prolongs duration of effect and may provide PAH patients with greater consistency in pulmonary arterial pressure reduction over time. Current inhaled prostanoid therapies must be dosed four to nine times per day for the treatment of PAH. Reducing dose frequency has the potential to ease patient burden and improve compliance. Additionally, the company believe that INS1009 may be associated with fewer side effects, including elevated heart rate, low blood pressure, and severity and/or frequency of cough, associated with high initial drug levels and local upper airway exposure when using current inhaled prostanoid therapies. The company believe INS1009 may offer a differentiated product profile for rare pulmonary disorders, including PAH, and Insmed is currently evaluating its options to advance its development.

Phase 1 study results

In late 2014, the company had a pre-IND meeting with the FDA for INS1009 and clarified that, subject to final review of the preclinical data, INS1009 could be eligible for an approval pathway under Section 505(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) (505(b)(2) approval). Like a traditional NDA that is submitted under Section 505(b)(1) of the FDCA, a 505(b)(2) NDA must establish that the drug is safe and effective, but unlike a traditional NDA, the applicant may rely at least in part on studies not conducted by or for the applicant and for which the applicant does not have a right of reference. The ability to rely on existing third-party data to support safety and/or effectiveness can reduce the time and cost associated with traditional NDAs.

Insmed has completed a phase 1 study of INS1009. The phase 1 study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled single ascending dose study of INS1009 for inhalation to determine its safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers. Twenty-four (24) patients were enrolled and received INS1009 with cohorts of eight patients receiving doses of 85 micrograms (mcg), 170 mcg, 340 mcg or placebo. Participants in the first cohort (8 patients) received a single dose of open label treprostinil (Tyvaso) at 54 mcg 24 hours prior to receiving INS1009 at 85 mcg. The 85 mcg dose of INS1009 provides an equivalent amount of treprostinil on a molar basis as the 54 mcg dose of Tyvaso. The peak serum concentration was approximately 90% lower for treprostinil after INS1009 administration compared with Tyvaso, which could indicate a reduced future adverse event (AE) profile. The pharmacokinetic characteristics also supported once- or twice-daily dosing. The longer half-life of treprostinil for INS1009 was likely due to a sustained pulmonary release. The AE profile was consistent with other inhaled prostanoids. These data were presented at the European Respiratory Society international congress in September 2016.


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Created by Asif F on 2019/11/12 15:57
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