MUNICH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On September 13, the winners of the “Most Innovative Product” award in the “Leap Innovations” category were announced at the “Pharma Trend – Image & Innovation Award”. Cardior Pharmaceuticals came out on top, ahead of RNATICS, and third place went to Pantherna Therapeutics. The three German companies were each awarded for the development of nucleic acid-based drugs. In addition, the winners of “The Golden Tablet” were chosen and the Pharma Trend Ranking with the best pharmaceutical companies was published.
Since 2000, the Pharma Awards “The Golden Tablet” and “Most Innovative Product” have been presented for innovation and sustainability. The basis for the award and the ranking is the Pharma Trend market research, which was conducted this year among 1,400 doctors, pharmacists and patients. The award ceremony – also called Pharma Oscar – took place in the auditorium of the Deutsches Museum in Munich under the patronage of Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek.
For the second time, “Most Innovative Product®” award was awarded in the category of leap innovations in cooperation with BioM, the network organization of the biotechnology industry in Munich and Bavaria. Companies whose business is based on the development of nucleic acid-based medicines and which meet the European SME criteria were eligible to apply. When announcing the winners, Prof. Ekkehard Leberer, Senior Life Sciences Consultant elbiocon and chairman of the jury, emphasized: “Nucleic acid drug development is extremely interesting because you can develop active molecules on the drawing board. We are at the beginning of a development for a new important pillar in drug development.”
The three winners of the “Leap Innovations” category and their projects in detail:
1. Place: Cardior Pharmaceuticals
CDR132L, an RNA-oligonucleotide to treat heart failure
Cardiac disease remains the most common cause of death globally and represents a significant long-term health burden to patients and their families. Cardior’s CDR132L aims to provide a completely novel therapeutic approach by selectively blocking abnormally high levels of the non-coding micro-RNA miR-132, a central regulator of pathological cardiac remodeling processes which impairs the overall function of the heart. By normalizing miR-132 levels, CDR132L can permanently counteract these detrimental processes to prevent, repair or reverse the damage to the heart. In contrast to currently available treatment options that primarily alleviate symptoms, CDR132L is designed to address the root cause of the disease offering a potential curative approach to patients, prolonging life span and improving quality of life.
2. Place: RNATICS
RCS 21, an RNA-therapeutic by inhalation for the treatment of severe cases of COVID 19
With severe cases of COVID 19, excessive activation of the immune system in the lungs is observed most of the time. This overactivation leads to lung damage and subsequent scar-ring. RNATICS has developed an RNA-based inhibitor, which prevents the overactivation of alveolar macrophages, immune cells of the lung, and the accompanying lung damage. As the mode of action addresses not the virus itself but the overactivation of the immune response, RCS 21 is anticipated to be efficacious regardless of virus variants and could also be used with long-COVID patients.
3. Place: Panthera Pharmaceuticals
PAN004 represents a novel, first-in-class drug product for the treatment of pulmonary edema in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) for which there are currently no effective therapies. The novel, proprietary mRNA-LNP technology allows for the localized expression of a Tie2 agonist in the vascular endothelium of the capillary blood vessels of the lung. Disease-related inflammatory stimuli trigger endothelial barrier disruption in capillaries, leading to pulmonary edema and hypoxia. PAN004 is designed to interrupt this key pathomechanism early and protect the ARDS patient from a severe course or death.