Developing first-in-class cardiovascular biopharmaceuticals that target natural repair pathways.

Press Releases

(Juventas Therapeutics, Inc. is formerly known as AcelleRX Therapeutics, Inc.)

Juventas Therapeutics Completes Successful Phase I
Clinical Trial for JVS-100 in Treatment of Patients with
Heart Failure

CLEVELAND, April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Juventas Therapeutics, a clinical-stage regenerative medicine company developing novel therapies for cardiovascular disease, announces that it has successfully completed its Phase I clinical trial evaluating the safety and preliminary efficacy of JVS-100 for treatment of patients with heart failure. Complete results from the trial will be reported at the 2011 Annual Meeting for the American Society for Gene & Cell Therapy on May 19th in Seattle, WA. JVS-100 encodes Stromal-cell Derived Factor 1 (SDF-1), which has been shown in several pre-clinical studies to promote cardiac repair following a myocardial infarction through activation of natural stem-cell repair pathways, promotion of new blood vessel formation and prevention of on-going cell death.

Preliminary results from the clinical trial were recently reported at the Annual Meeting for the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans, LA. The trial enrolled 17 NYHA Class III heart failure patients, with left ventricular ejection fractions less than 40% and an average time from heart attack of 7.3 years. Three escalating JVS-100 doses were evaluated: 5 mg (cohort 1), 15 mg (cohort 2) and 30 mg (cohort 3). The primary safety endpoint was the number of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) at 30 days. Efficacy was assessed as changes from baseline in: echocardiographic parameters, cardiac perfusion via SPECT and clinical parameters including NYHA class, 6 minute walk distance (6MWd) and quality of life score (QOL). Safety data has been collected for all 17-patients and 4-month efficacy data has been collected from cohort 1 and 2 patients. The primary safety endpoint for the trial has been met with no adverse events likely related to drug. At 4 months post-therapy, patients are demonstrating dose-dependent improvements in all clinical parameters with clinically relevant improvements compared to baseline in QOL and 6MWd for patients from cohort 2. At 1-month after dosing in cohort 3 patients are showing similar clinically relevant improvements in QOL and 6MWd with some patients improving a full NYHA class.

"The preliminary safety and efficacy results from this clinical trial are encouraging," states Douglas Losordo, M.D., Principal Investigator of the trial and the Director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute at Northwestern University. "The clinical responses observed are exciting and warrant further investigation of JVS-100 for treatment of heart failure in a Phase II clinical trial."

In addition to its heart failure platform, Juventas has also received FDA authorization to initiate a Phase II clinical trial evaluating the safety an efficacy for use of JVS-100 to treat patients with critical limb ischemia.

"We have a strong understanding for the mechanisms of action through which SDF-1 works," says Marc Penn, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Medical Officer for Juventas and Director for the Skirball Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Laboratory. "This understanding allows us to strategically and rapidly target JVS- 100 to additional disease indications in which we believe JVS-100 will provide the greatest therapeutic benefit."

Juventas Therapeutics is focused on developing JVS-100 for treatment of cardiovascular disease. While its current clinical focus is heart failure and peripheral vascular disease, the company has generated data supporting the use of JVS-100 in treatment of acute myocardial infarction and chronic angina.

"JVS-100 provides a true platform opportunity that may be employed across the cardiovascular treatment spectrum," states Rahul Aras, Ph.D., the Company's President & CEO. "Beyond heart disease, there is evidence for therapeutic potential following ischemic and traumatic injury to the brain, kidney, liver, lungs, and dermis. JVS-100 targets a very well-conserved repair pathway that can be exploited across a range of end-organ systems, both in acute and chronic disease settings. We believe it represents a unique clinical and commercial opportunity."

About Juventas Therapeutics
Juventas Therapeutics, headquartered in Cleveland, OH, is a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a pipeline of regenerative therapies to treat life–threatening diseases. Founded in 2007 with an exclusive license from the Cleveland Clinic, Juventas has transitioned its therapeutic platform from concept to initiation of mid-stage clinical trials. Investors include Triathlon Medical Venture Partners, Early Stage Partners, Fletcher Spaght Ventures, Reservoir Venture Partners, North Coast Angel Fund, X Gen Ltd., JumpStart Inc., and Blue Chip Venture Co. The company has received nondilutive grant support through the Ohio Third Frontier funded Cleveland Clinic Ohio BioValidation Fund, Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center and Center for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine.

About JVS-100
The company's lead product, JVS-100 encodes Stromal–cell Derived Factor 1 (SDF–1). SDF-1 promotes tissue repair through recruitment of endogenous stem cells to the damaged organ, promotion of new blood vessel formation and prevention of ongoing cell death. The SDF-1 repair pathway is well-conserved in a broad range of end organ systems, including the heart, vasculature, dermis, kidney, and eye. JVS-100 is currently being clinically evaluated for treatment of heart failure and late stage peripheral vascular disease and has been shown to protect and repair tissue following organ damage in a broad range of pre–clinical disease models.