Press Room

Press Release / Dec 04, 2017

Hovione Announces Enrollment of First Patient in MARS

A Phase 2 Clinical Trial for the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Inflammatory Rosacea with its Proprietary Minocycline Topical Gel

Cork, Ireland – Hovione announced today enrollment of the first patient in MARS (Minocycline Against Rosacea Study), a Phase 2 clinical study of topical minocycline (HY01) in moderate to severe papulopustular rosacea patients. MARS is a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, parallel, vehicle-controlled study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of 1% and 3% topical minocycline gel. HY01 will be evaluated once-daily over a 12-week treatment period and the study will also include a cohort to determine minocycline systemic pharmacokinetic parameters. The primary endpoint will include a change in inflammatory lesions from baseline. MARS will include 23 investigational sites across the United States and will enroll 249 subjects. The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

“Enrolling the first patient into our first phase 2 clinical trial is a milestone achievement for Hovione”, said Carla Vozone, Vice President of Product Development and Licensing (PDL). “Hovione has been a leader in tetracycline manufacture for over 40 years. The leap into developing a new, patented formulation of minocycline, and taking it into a phase 2 clinical study is a significant step towards the PDL business unit’s mission of developing innovative drugs that bring value to patients and our licensing partners.” HY01 uses a patent protected minocycline base, which exhibits properties that have the potential of improving safety and efficacy of minocycline administration. Hovione plans to out-license HY01 at the end of the phase 2 study.

About Papulopustular Rosacea
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition that primarily affects facial skin and manifests in different sub-types.  Subtype 2 rosacea (papulopustular) consists of constant erythema and transient inflammatory pustules and papules.  Rosacea affects more than 16 million people in the US and has an overall incidence of nearly 10%. The market for treating this disease is estimated at $1.1 billion annually. Oral tetracyclines have been used successfully in combating inflammatory diseases such as papulopustular acne or rosacea. Tetracyclines’ non-antimicrobial bioactivity is known to be associated with the drug’s ability to inhibit Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs), specifically MMP-9. Topical administration of minocycline in rosacea has the potential to displace the standard of care oral tetracycline therapies because it reduces systemic exposure, which is associated with serious adverse events.

About Minocycline Topical Gel
Hovione’s minocycline topical gel is a stable, proprietary formulation of crystalline minocycline base and oil-based excipients; in comparison, all minocycline formulations whether in clinical use or currently under clinical development, utilize minocycline hydrochloride as the active ingredient.  Hovione has secured patents for both the API and the drug product across the US and the EU with exclusivity through 2033.  Minocycline is believed to have superior anti-inflammatory profile as compared to other tetracyclines.

About Hovione                                          
Hovione is an international company with over 57 years of experience as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) and is currently a fully integrated supplier offering services for drug substance, drug product intermediate and drug product. With four FDA inspected sites in the USA, China, Ireland and Portugal and development laboratories in Lisbon, Portugal and New Jersey, USA, the company provides branded pharmaceutical customers services for the development and cGMP-compliant manufacture of innovative drugs including highly potent compounds. For generic pharmaceutical customers the company offers niche API products. Hovione also provides proprietary product development and licensing opportunities for drug products. In the inhalation area, Hovione is the only independent company offering a complete range of services.