Finding a better way for improved therapies
Corsair Pharma is developing transformative solutions to improve the therapeutic profile of medications and provide superior treatment options for patients. The company’s first product candidate is a prodrug of treprostinil delivered on a proprietary transdermal patch to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
A Significant Need for Improved Treatments for PAH
While there are several classes of drugs for PAH, as the disease progresses most patients will be treated with a prostacyclin analog, such as treprostinil, either alone or in combination with another class of therapy. Because prostacyclins are short-lived in the body, best results are obtained either by continuous intravenous (IV) or subcutaneous (SC) administration.
IV administration requires insertion of a catheter into a central vein within the chest.
SC administration involves the inconvenience of a needle continuously implanted in the skin and a pump which must be worn on the body. The majority of patients using SC administration experience severe pain at the injection site.
Various dosage forms of trepostinil have been developed and marketed. An oral form, however, produces large swings in blood levels, leading to adverse events (at the peaks) and under-treatment (at the troughs). An inhaled form requires multiple daily doses and causes local throat irritation. Poor pharmacokinetics and safety profile as well as challenges with administration of current dosage forms limit optimal clinical use of treprostinil.
Toward an Improved Therapy
Corsair has developed a proprietary patch designed to be safe, effective, and convenient. The patch is intended to provide consistent blood levels of treprostinil comparable to an infusion pump by delivering an inactive prodrug, which crosses the skin, enters the blood, and converts rapidly to treprostinil in the liver. A transdermal patch alleviates the need for central vein catheter placement or continuous subcutaneous infusion.
Since the prodrug is inactive, the patch is also expected to mitigate the issues of infusion site pain and infusion site reactions attributed to trepostinil on-target effects. The product candidate is designed to allow physicians greater flexibility in mono- and combination therapy and to provide patients a well-established, safe, and effective therapeutic choice that is better tolerated with fewer side effects.
Corsair intends to initiate Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate PK and safety/tolerability of the candidate product in the second half of 2024.
About Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a serious, progressive, and ultimately fatal disease that causes shortness of breath, markedly reducing quality of life. Current treatments offer some symptomatic relief, but only prostanoids, such as treprostinil, have been shown to prolong life.
PAH is an orphan disease that affects an estimated 100,000 people globally. In the United States, approximately 45,000 patients are currently under treatment. Multiple drug therapies target three pathways: prostacyclin, endothelin receptors, and nitric oxide. Combination therapy is increasingly used.