Safety, Tolerability, PK Profile, and Symptom Response of a 7-Day Dosing With 25 mg Daily and 50 mg Daily of REL-1017 in Major Depressive Disorder

Conditions:Depression, Depression, Major Depression Disorder (MDD)
Therapuetic Areas:Psychiatry / Psychology, Pulmonary / Respiratory Diseases
Age Range:18 - 65
Start Date:May 11, 2018
End Date:May 2019
Contact:Relmada Therapeutics

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A Phase 2a, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, 3-Arm Study to Assess the Safety, Tolerability, PK Profile, and Symptom Response of a 7-Day Dosing With REL-1017 25 mg Daily and 50 mg Daily as Adjunctive Therapy in the Treatment of Patients Diagnosed With Major Depressive Disorder

This a Phase 2a, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled 3 arm study to
assess the safety and tolerability of multiple oral doses of REL-1017 25 mg and 50 mg as
adjunctive therapy in the treatment of patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder
(MDD). The patients will be adults with MDD who are diagnosed with a current MDE who have
experienced an inadequate response to 1 to 3 courses of treatment with an antidepressant
medication. This population will provide the opportunity to compare the safety and efficacy
effects of treatment with an approved antidepressant in conjunction with REL-1017 versus the
effects of an antidepressant alone. This study includes in-patient and out-patient periods.

Currently available medications have proven to be useful for the treatment of depression, but
also have limitations including low response rates, a significant number of treatment
resistant patients, and time-lag for response, which emphasizes a major unmet need for more
efficacious and faster-acting antidepressants. Recent studies have demonstrated that
ketamine, a non-competitive glutamate-N-methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist,
produces rapid onset (2 hours) and long-lasting (7 days) antidepressant actions in treatment
resistant patients. This rapid action, by a mechanism completely different from typical
monoamine reuptake inhibitors, represents a significant finding in the field of depression.

Racemic methadone, the 50/50 combination of d-methadone and l-methadone, has been in
widespread use for decades and has been studied extensively. Methadone is currently approved
for use in the management of severe pain, detoxification treatment of opioid addiction, and
maintenance treatment of opioid addiction.

The results of a study evaluating the receptor binding profiles of racemic methadone and its
stereoisomers suggest that d-methadone does not essentially contribute to the opioid effect
of racemic methadone and that it has a 10 times lower affinity for the mu1, mu2, and delta
opioid receptors compared to l-methadone. Racemic methadone and its d- and l isomers exhibit
similar affinities for the non-competitive binding site of the NMDA receptor and are
non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonists.

In the forced swim test, a rodent behavioral model of antidepressant activity, both ketamine
and d-methadone at all doses tested significantly decreased the immobility of the rats
compared to the vehicle suggesting antidepressant like activity. Neither drug increased
spontaneous locomotor activity.

Relmada has conducted 2 clinical studies to identify the dose levels of REL-1017
(d-methadone) that have little to no opioid effects and that are expected to possess NMDA
antagonistic properties for the evaluation of oral REL-1017 in the treatment of MDD and
neuropathic pain conditions. Initial Phase 1 single ascending dose and multiple ascending
dose clinical studies of REL-1017 were designed to evaluate the safety and tolerance of the
pure d methadone isomer in healthy opioid-naïve subjects and identify a safe and potentially
effective dose range in this population. These studies showed that REL-1017 was safe and
well-tolerated at single oral doses up to 150 mg (maximum tolerated dose) and up to 75 mg
administered once daily for 10 days in healthy opioid-naïve subjects.

The pre-clinical and previous clinical experience with REL-1017 (d-methadone) provided the
basis for the initiation of the present study, which will extend the evaluation of the
safety, tolerability, and PK of REL-1017 at 2 doses with repeated administration to depressed
patients. Since REL-1017 is proposed for use as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of
patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), the patients will be male adults
with MDD who are diagnosed with a current depressive episode who have experienced an
inadequate response to 1 to 3 courses of treatment with an antidepressant medication.

Based on the safety data from Protocol REL-1017-111, single doses of 5 mg, 20 mg, 60 mg, 100
mg, and 150 mg of REL-1017 or placebo were well tolerated. The results of Protocol
REL-1017-112 evaluated 10 days of dosing with 25 mg, 50 mg and 75 mg of REL-1017 or placebo,
and no impact on safety was observed. In spite of the confirmed dose proportionality, the
comparison of concentration and exposure between the 50 mg and 75 mg REL-1017 treatment
groups demonstrated only slight differences. Consequently, 25 mg and 50 mg doses were chosen
for administration in Protocol REL-1017-202 as single daily doses over a period of 7 days.

Thus, as a single isomer of racemic methadone, d-methadone has been shown to possess NMDA
antagonist properties with virtually no opioid activity or ketamine-like toxicities at the
expected therapeutic doses.

In this study, adult male patients with MDD who are diagnosed with a current MDE and who have
experienced an inadequate response to 1 to 3 courses of treatment with an antidepressant
medication will be randomized to study drug in a 1:1:1 ratio. Approximately 15 patients each
will receive REL-1017 25 mg, REL-1017 50 mg, or placebo once daily for 7 days. Endpoints
include assessments of safety, tolerability, efficacy and pharmacokinetics of REL-1017.
Patients will be required to stay in the clinic for 10 days and will then be followed as an
outpatient for 12 additional days.

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Males between 18 and 65 years of age, inclusive; and females between 18 and 65 years
of age, inclusive, who are >1 year postmenopausal.

2. Diagnosed with recurrent MDD as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual,
Fifth Edition (DSM-5), and confirmed by the Mini International Neuropsychiatric
Interview, Version 7.0.2 (MINI).

3. Diagnosed with a current MDE lasting 8 weeks to 36 months as defined by the DSM-5 and
confirmed by the MINI.

4. Treated with an adequate dosage of a SSRI, SNRI, or bupropion during the current MDE
for at least 8 weeks prior to Screening with the same, adequate dosage for the last 4
weeks. Minimum adequate doses are defined in the (ATRQ). The maximum dose allowed for
paroxetine is 40 mg QD, for fluoxetine is 60 mg QD, and for sertraline is 200 mg QD.

5. Have experienced an inadequate response to 1 to 3 courses of treatment with an
antidepressant medication in the current episode, as defined as <50% improvement with
an antidepressant medication at doses listed on the SAFER Interview Criteria: State
versus trait; Assessability; Face validity; Ecological validity; and Rule of three Ps
(pervasive, persistent, and pathological).

6. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 (HAM-D-17) ≥19 at Screening and Check-in (Day -1).

7. BMI between 18.0 and 35.0 kg/m2, inclusive, and a minimum weight of 50.0 kg.

8. Per the Investigator's judgment, able to meet all study requirements, including the
confined/inpatient portion of the study, adherence with both approved ADT and study
drug regimen, and completion of all assessments and all scheduled visits.

9. Male patients of reproductive potential must be using and willing to continue using
medically acceptable contraception, from Screening and for at least 2 months after the
last study drug administration.

10. Must be able to read, speak, and understand English and must provide written informed
consent prior to the initiation of any protocol-specific procedures.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. History or presence of clinically significant abnormality as assessed by physical
examination, medical history, 12-lead ECG, vital signs, or laboratory values, which in
the opinion of the Investigator would jeopardize the safety of the patient or the
validity of the study results, including torsades de pointes, any bradyarrhythmias, or
uncompensated heart failure.

2. Chronic use of prescribed opioids (i.e., >120 days in a 6-month period) up to 6 months
prior to Screening or any recreational use of opioids.

3. Evidence of clinically significant hepatic or renal impairment, including ALT or AST
>1.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN), bilirubin >1 x ULN, or endocrine laboratory values
(including clinically significant thyroid parameters, i.e., thyroid stimulating
hormone [TSH], triiodothyronine [T3], and thyroxine [T4]).

4. History or family history of sudden unexplained death or long QT syndrome (measure of
the time between the start of the Q wave and the end of the T wave in the heart's
electrical cycle).

5. Any 12-lead ECG with repeated demonstration of QTc ≥450 msec or a QRS interval >120
msec at Screening.

6. History of clinically diagnosed hypotension requiring treatment.

7. History or presence of any condition in which an opioid is contraindicated (e.g.,
significant respiratory depression, acute or severe bronchial asthma or hypercarbia,
bronchitis, or has/is suspected of having paralytic ileus).

8. No more than 3 prescribed doses of an opioid within the 6 months prior to Screening
and no use at all within the last month.

9. Use of an antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, or mood stabilizer, regardless of indication,
within the 3 months prior to Screening.

10. History of allergy or hypersensitivity to methadone or related drugs (e.g., opioids).

11. Positive test for hepatitis B or HIV. Patients with a positive hepatitis C test may be
considered for inclusion with approval from the Medical Monitor.

12. Any current and primary psychiatric disorder, as defined as a condition that is the
primary focus of distress and/or treatment, other than MDD.

13. Any lifetime history of bipolar I or II disorder, any psychotic disorder,
post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial
personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorder, intellectual
disability, or pervasive developmental disorder.

14. History in the past 12 months of a primary diagnosis of anxiety disorder or panic
disorder not related to the current MDE.

15. Current diagnosis of alcohol or substance use disorder, as defined by DSM-5, at
Screening or within the 12 months prior to Screening. Patients with the following
diagnoses within the past 12 months, however, may be included at the Investigator's
discretion: mild alcohol use disorder, mild cannabis use disorder, and any severity
tobacco use disorder.

16. A confirmed positive result on the urine drug/alcohol screen at Screening or Check-in.
If the urine drug/alcohol screen is positive at Screening, retesting or rescreening
may be scheduled with prior approval from the Medical Monitor.

17. Patients who, in the Investigator's judgment, are at significant risk for suicide. A
patient with a Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) ideation score of 4 or
5 within the last 6 months or any suicide attempt within the past year must be
excluded, as should a patient with an ideation score of 4 or 5 or any suicide attempt
at the Check-in or Baseline Visit.

18. Patients with a 20% improvement between Screening and Check-in (Day -1) on the

19. Patients who did not safely discontinue medications prohibited.

20. Patients receiving new onset psychotherapy (individual, group, marriage, or family
therapy) within 2 months prior to Screening or plans to start at any time during
participation in the study.

21. Patients who have received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), repetitive transcranial
magnetic stimulation (rTMS), or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) or who have participated
in a ketamine study within the last 6 months.

22. Patients with any clinically significant neurological, hepatic, renal, metabolic,
hematological, immunological, cardiovascular, pulmonary, chronic pain, or
gastrointestinal disorder. Medical conditions that are minor or well-controlled may be
permitted if they will not increase the safety risk to the patient or compromise
interpretation of the safety or efficacy endpoints.

23. Patients taking fluvoxamine or St. John's Wort.

24. Patients who have participated in a clinical study with an investigational medication
in the past 6 months, or who have participated in more than 4 clinical studies with
investigational medications in the past 2 years.
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