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Nanoscope Therapeutics presents results from phase 2b RESTORE trial of MCO-010 for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa

Article

According to data presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting in New Orleans, composite efficacy data validate MCO-010 as a potential treatment for RP.

Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc. this week announced the presentation of key data from its Phase 2b multicenter, randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled RESTORE clinical trial (NCT04945772) of MCO-010 at the ARVO annual meeting in New Orleans.

Composite efficacy data validate MCO-010 as a potential treatment for RP. MCO-010 has received both orphan drug and fast track designations from the FDA. (Image courtesy of Adobe Stock)

Composite efficacy data validate MCO-010 as a potential treatment for RP. MCO-010 has received both orphan drug and fast track designations from the FDA. (Image courtesy of Adobe Stock)

According to the company, MCO-010 is an ambient-light activatable Multi-Characteristic Opsin (MCO) optogenetic therapy for vision restoration in advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP), irrespective of gene mutation. The company also noted composite efficacy data validate MCO-010 as a potential treatment for RP. MCO-010 has received both orphan drug and fast track designations from the FDA.

Moreover, the company noted in the RESTORE trial, 18 patients with severe vision impairment due to RP received a single intravitreal injection of MCO-010, while 9 received a sham intravitreal injection. Results showed vision function improvements after treatment with MCO-010 consistent with previous studies as well as a favorable safety profile. Key efficacy measures included Multi-Luminance Y-Mobility Test (MLYMT, vision-guided mobility), Multi-Luminance Shape Discrimination Test (MLSDT, near-field object recognition), and Best-Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA) scores. For the MLYMT and MLSDT, a 2 or more luminance level change is considered clinically meaningful. For BCVA, a 0.3 LogMAR change is considered clinically meaningful.

Current gene therapies are aimed to treat patients with specific gene mutation in outer retinal cells, while ambient-light activatable MCO optogenetic monotherapy targeting abundant inner retinal neurons has the potential to restore vision lost due to advanced RP, with degenerated outer retinal cells. MCO-010 (sonpiretigene isteparvovec, suspension for intravitreal injection) is the only broadband, fast, and most-light sensitive opsin currently in clinical trials. With bipolar cell targeting via mGluR6 promoter-enhancer, the MCO-010 expression cassette is designed for restoring high quality vision in real-world environments.

The proprietary AAV2 vector allows robust transduction of MCO-010 in bipolar cells upon intravitreal injection. The Phase 1/2 trial of MCO-010 in advanced RP patients demonstrated improvement in vision-guided mobility, shape discrimination and visual acuity. A significant proportion of patients treated with MCO-010 in Phase 2b RESTORE trial exhibited improvements in functional vision assessed by vision-guided mobility, shape discrimination and visual acuity, along with a favorable safety profile.

Composite outcomes in key efficacy measures at 12-months were:

  • 18 of 18 (100%) MCO-010 treated patients showed vision improvement in the MLYMT, MLSDT or BCVA compared to 5 of 9 (55.6%) receiving placebo (p=0.007);
  • 17 of 18 (94.4%) MCO-010 treated patients showed vision improvement in the MLYMT or BCVA compared to 4 of 9 (44.4%) receiving placebo (p=0.008);
  • 16 of 18 (88.9%) MCO-010 treated patients demonstrated a 2 or more luminance level improvement in the MLYMT or MLSDT compared to 4 of 9 (44.4%) receiving placebo (p=0.02); and
  • 14 of 18 (77.8%) MCO-010 treated patients showed vision improvement in the MLSDT or BCVA compared to 3 of 9 (33.3%) receiving placebo (p=0.04).

In addition to the evidence of a clinically meaningful effect, MCO-010 was well-tolerated with no serious or severe ocular or systemic adverse events reported. There was a comparable incidence of treatment emergent adverse events (TEAEs) across study arms. The most common ocular TEAEs reported across treatment arms were anterior chamber cells, ocular hypertension, and conjunctival hemorrhage.

These RESTORE results are consistent with those observed in the earlier Phase 1/2 trial (NCT04919473) in which 9 of 11 (82%) of subjects demonstrated 2 luminance level improvements in vision-guided mobility or 0.3 logMAR in visual acuity. In this Phase 1/2 study, a favorable safety profile was observed, with no serious or severe adverse events. People with severe vision loss due to RP currently have no available treatments that can improve their vision.

David Boyer, MD, Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, and Nanoscope Clinical Advisory Board member, presented RESTORE trial results at ARVO.

“I have had the privilege of treating severely blind patients, enrolled in MCO-010 clinical trials, and have observed some improvement in their visual function,” he said. “The fact that we see any gains in vision after a single intravitreal injection is remarkable."

Boyer explained some participants who were living with severe vision impairment due to RP have noticed improvement in visual function.

“In addition, MCO-010 had a favorable safety profile,” he added. “It is an honor to have been a part of the first randomized controlled trial to show a visual improvement in a profoundly visually impaired population."

Samarendra Mohanty, co-founder, president and chief scientific officer of Nanoscope, noted RP patients with severe vision loss are a heterogeneous population with different genotypes and phenotypic manifestations of degeneration in their macula and peripheral retina.

“For this reason, we strongly believe that no single assessment can adequately capture clinically important changes in vision across this broad population,” Mohanty said. “Composite endpoints can be used to evaluate overall vision function changes in a single measurement when the individual tests assess different aspects of vision performance, such as vision-guided mobility, object recognition and visual acuity.”

Mohanty pointed outthat across composite endpoints in the RESTORE study, significantly more MCO-010 treated patients experienced clinically significant vision improvements.

“This randomized controlled trial provides compelling evidence that MCO-010 optogenetic therapy, as a mutation-agnostic treatment, can improve vision in patients with advanced RP," Mohanty said.

Sulagna Bhattacharya, co-founder and CEO of Nanoscope, explained the treatment landscape for severe vision loss due to RP is one of no approved therapies and lacking a pre-defined single endpoint for approval.

“The improvements we are seeing in MCO-010 treated patients across the key composite measures of efficacy make it a promising candidate for the treatment of patients with severe vision loss due to RP," Bhattacharya noted. "We look forward to our upcoming conversations with the FDA on the totality of this data regarding an expeditious path to market for this exciting therapy. It truly brings us joy to see the impact and difference MCO-010 is making in the lives of patients, and we are grateful to all participants and investigators for being a part of the success of the RESTORE trial."

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