Press release

Medivir to present data from its Cathepsin S inhibitor program including MIV-247 for neuropathic pain, at the 15th World Congress on Pain

Stockholm, Sweden – Medivir AB (OMX:MVIR) announces that data from its cathepsin S inhibitor drug development program for neuropathic pain will be presented at “The 15th World Congress on Pain in Buenos Aires.

The poster presentations will include the preclinical profile of MIV-247, selected as a clinical candidate for further development, and preclinical results from combination treatments with a cathepsin S inhibitor and gabapentin, a commonly used drug for neuropathic pain.

The data to be presented support the development of a potent oral cathepsin S inhibitor such as MIV-247 as a new treatment for neuropathic pain:

  • Use in first line monotherapy – cathepsin S inihibition provided fast and sustained effects in neuropathic pain models
  • Use as an add-on to current treatments - markedly enhanced efficacy was seen when a cathepsin S inhibitor was given in combination with gabapentin compared to either drug alone
  • Low side effect potential - No CNS side effects were seen at the highest efficacious dose

“We are very excited about these promising data, which provide support for a potential new efficacious and safe treatment option for the many patients which are suffering from chronic neuropathic pain and in whom current treatments are ineffective or poorly tolerated because of their side effects. The findings that addition of a cathepsin S inhibitor to current standard treatment could enhance the efficacy also opens for the potential to decrease doses of the companion drug and hence their side effects,” says Charlotte Edenius, EVP Development at Medivir AB.

Data to be presented at the 15th World Congress on Pain in Buenos Aires include:

Poster Presentations: Thursday, October 9, 2014 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM:
MIV-247 - A cathepsin S protease inhibitor developed as a novel therapy for neuropathic pain

PH099: Cathepsin S inhibition enhances the anti-allodynic effects of gabapentin in a model of neuropathic pain

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Neuropathic pain
Neuropathic pain is caused by a trauma or disease affecting the nervous system such as diabetes, shingles, cancer or chronic lower back pain. Currently marketed drugs have limited efficacy and poor side-effect profiles. Patients with neuropathic pain are therefore in great need of new and efficacious therapies that can deliver sustainable pain relief with improved tolerance and adverse event profiles. Neuropathic pain affects approximately 30 million patients across the US, Europe and Japan. In 2013 the overall global sales in neuropathic pain market was 6 BUSD with the largest product being pregabalin: 1.8 BUSD*.

MIV-247 - a Cathepsin S inhibitor for Neuropathic Pain
MIV-247 is a potent and highly selective inhibitor of cathepsin S. Cathepsin S is a protease which has been shown to be important for the maintenance of the neuropathic pain state, through its action in releasing membrane-bound fractalkine (a pro-inflammatory peptide) from the surface of neurons. Fractalkine is a potent chemokine which stimulates the recruitment of inflammatory cells to the sites of neuronal damage and activates microglia. These cells are implicated as key drivers in the pathogenesis of chronic neuropathic pain. The inhibition of cathepsin S results in reduced pain related behavior in preclinical models of neuropathic pain.

For further information, please contact:
Rein Piir, EVP Corporate Affairs & IR, mobile: +46 708 537 292.

About Medivir
Medivir is an emerging and profitable research‐based pharmaceutical company with an established marketing and sales organisation in the Nordic region with a broad portfolio of prescription pharmaceuticals. Medivir receives royalties from Johnson & Johnson’s global sales of the hepatitis C pharmaceutical, Olysio®. In addition, revenues for sales of Olysio in the Nordic region are generated through the company’s own sales and marketing organisation. Medivir’s research and development portfolio of pharmaceuticals is based on the company’s expertise within protease inhibitor design and nucleoside/nucleotide science, targeting different disease areas. The company’s current research and development focus is within infectious diseases, osteoarthritis, neuropathic pain and oncology. Medivir is listed on the Nasdaq OMX Stockholm Mid Cap List.

*Decision Resource 2013