Applied Molecular Transport has already sacrificed a lot last year to keep its chronic pouchitis treatment on track—including 40% of its staff and early-stage pipeline activities. But despite shedding the extra weight, the company is still searching for a partner to finally get the candidate into phase 3 trials.
The drug, dubbed AMT-101, is an oral, gut selective, fusion protein of interleukin-1 (IL-1). The company ended last year on a downer, with AMT-101 producing a lower clinical remission rate in ulcerative colitis patients than the placebo cohort. This followed a fail in July when the therapy was put up against Humira in the same indication.
AMT has had better luck in the pouchitis indication, where it received orphan drug designation from the FDA in November. Pouchitis is an inflammation that can occur at the site of colon surgery and for which there are no current FDA-approved products.
A phase 2 trial in April showed that AMT-101 helped 36.4% of patients achieve stool frequency response, setting the company up to enter phase 3. But since then, the biotech has struggled to move into the next stage.