ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- QuatRx Pharmaceuticals, a
privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on research and
development of therapeutic compounds for the treatment of major endocrine,
metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, today announced that it has
initiated a Phase I clinical study of QRX-431, a novel compound in
development for the treatment of elevated cholesterol levels and obesity.
In pre-clinical primate studies, QRX-431, a selective thyroid beta agonist,
lowered LDL, lipoprotein (a) and weight without significantly increasing
heart rate. High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) have been shown
to be a major cause of coronary heart disease, a condition affecting more
than 13 million Americans. Elevated lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] has been linked
to an increased risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.
"We are extremely encouraged by the preclinical results for QRX-431. We
feel this new drug candidate offers great promise as a therapy to help the
millions of people with elevated lipid levels and obesity who may be at
risk for stroke and coronary heart disease," said Robert L. Zerbe, M.D.,
chief executive officer and president of QuatRx.
Preclinical Study Results
In preclinical primate studies, QRX-431 significantly reduced LDL
cholesterol and Lp(a). To date, there are no approved therapies for the
treatment of elevated Lp(a) levels. Study results also suggest that QRX-431
activates reverse cholesterol transport, a protective mechanism involving
transport of cholesterol from the arteries to the liver. QRX-431 may also
act to induce weight loss. QRX-431 demonstrated a weight reduction in seven
days in a primate study and did not significantly affect heart rate.
LDL Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Disease and Current Treatments
Collectively, more than 71 million Americans have some form of
cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the United States,
claiming more lives than cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases,
accidents, and diabetes combined. Statins are commonly used to lower LDL
cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Though effective
for many people with high LDL cholesterol, statins have no effect on Lp(a),
can cause many side effects and many people cannot tolerate the higher
doses needed to achieve target LDL levels. Thyroid hormone has been shown
to lower LDL levels and Lp(a), but unlike QRX-431, thyroid hormone also
stimulates the thyroid alpha receptor, which produces increases in heart
rate. For this reason, thyroid hormone has not been considered a viable
therapy for lowering cholesterol or weight.
QuatRx Pharmaceuticals Company is focused on discovering, licensing,
developing and commercializing compounds in the endocrine, metabolic and
cardiovascular therapeutic areas. In addition to QRX-431, QuatRx currently
has three product candidates in clinical development. QuatRx's two lead
compounds target hormone deficiencies that result from aging in women and
men. Ophena(TM) is in Phase III development initially for the treatment of
vaginal atrophy, a common problem associated with estrogen deficiency in
post- menopausal women. Fispemifene, a treatment for testosterone
deficiency, is in Phase II clinical testing. QuatRx is also developing
Asord(TM), a topical product candidate for the treatment of psoriasis,
which has completed a Phase IIb clinical trial.
SOURCE QuatRx Pharmaceuticals Company