COPENHAGEN, Denmark — 12 March 2019: Acesion Pharma (“Acesion” or the Company), a Danish biotech company developing novel treatments for atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common cardiac arrhythmia, announces that Innovation Fund Denmark has granted the Company 4,965,000 DKK from the Fund’s ‘Innobooster’ program. The Grant will support the conduction of Acesion’s first study in patients with AF. Following a successful Phase I study in healthy volunteers in 2018, Acesion will initiate a Phase II study in the second quarter of 2019 to obtain clinical proof-of-concept for its drug for IV cardioversion of AF to normal sinus rhythm.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting an estimated 10 million people in the US and the EU (30 million people worldwide). The incidence of AF increases with age and it is estimated that 5-10% of the population above the age of 70 have AF.
AF is characterised by an irregular and abnormally high frequency in the upper chambers of the heart, the atria, and is associated with impaired quality of life, increased rate of hospitalisation, and increased risk of stroke and death. Existing drug therapies have only limited effect and/or are associated with risk of serious adverse effects. There exists therefore a high unmet need for developing more efficacious and safe drugs for the medical treatment of AF.
Acesion’s novel approach is based on inhibition of SK channels – ion channels present in the heart where they play a role in regulating the cardiac rhythm. Selectively blocking SK channels leads to an anti-arrhythmic and atrial selective effect that may prevent deleterious effects on the ventricles. Targeting the SK channels thereby constitutes a novel and promising approach for an effective treatment of AF with an expected higher cardiac safety profile.
Ulrik Sørensen, co-Founder and COO of Acesion comments: “We are excited about this significant grant from Innovation Fund Denmark which will support our plans to conduct Acesion’s first study in patients, a study that is planned to also include Danish hospitals and AF patients. We are very pleased to have the continued support from Innovation Fund Denmark, who have in the earlier days of our company supported the preclinical validation of this novel concept for treating AF.”