- In June 2023, The Lancet’s eClinicalMedicine journal published combined detailed analyses of Clene’s Phase 2 RESCUE-ALS study and its open-label extension trial
- In June 2023, Clene announced the closing of a $40 million underwritten public offering with potentially up to an additional $130 million from future warrant exercises
- As of January 2023, Clene had more than 150 issued patents worldwide and approximately 20 patents pending worldwide on top of many trade secrets
- Clene owns worldwide rights to commercialize its therapeutics but is looking for a partner to advance the MS indication
Clene (NASDAQ: CLNN) is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on improving mitochondrial health and protecting neuronal function to treat neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“ALS”), Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis (“MS”).
Its lead drug candidate is CNM-Au8(R), an oral suspension developed to restore neuronal health and function by increasing energy production and utilization by driving critical cellular energy producing reactions that enable neuroprotection and remyelination to increase neuronal and glial resilience to disease-relevant stressors. CNM-Au8 is being studied in various clinical trials, including the Harvard/MGH Healey ALS Platform clinical trial for patients with ALS; RESCUE-ALS, a completed proof-of-concept clinical trial in patients with early symptomatic ALS; the REPAIR trials, completed target engagement clinical trials showing brain energy metabolite change with CNM-Au8; and a completed MS clinical trial for the treatment of visual pathway deficits in chronic optic neuropathy for remyelination in stable relapsing MS. The company also has a nanotherapeutic platform of drug discovery.
CNM-Au8, Clene’s lead asset, is a highly concentrated aqueous suspension of catalytically active, clean-surfaced, faceted gold nanocrystals. Multiple pathogenic insults contribute to neuronal death. Mitochondrial dysfunction and NAD+ decline is a common final pathway in neurodegeneration, with NAD+ as a critical determinant of cell survival and function. CNM-Au8’s catalytic mechanisms target the energetic deficits, oxidative stress and accumulation of misfolded proteins that are common to many neurodegenerative diseases.
The unique catalytic mechanism of action of CNM-Au8 is hypothesized to act as a neuroprotective and remyelinating therapy in neurodegenerative disease states in order to: (1) drive, support and maintain beneficial metabolic and energetic cellular reactions within diseased, stressed and/or damaged cells, (2) directly catalyze the reduction of harmful, reactive oxygen species (“ROS”) and (3) promote protein homeostasis via activation of the heat shock factor-1 pathway, recognized to dampen the cytotoxicity caused by misfolded and denatured proteins, which are known to occur ubiquitously in neurodegenerative diseases.
CNM-Au8 is used in combination with other agents, has no known drug-drug interactions, and is designed to improve function and survival. The clinical effects of both function and survival were seen in its clinical ALS trials, as earlier announced.
More than 500 estimated years of collective exposure across ALS, MS, and Parkinson’s disease participants in CNM-Au8 clinical trials and Expanded Access Protocol (compassionate use) programs have been recorded without any observed safety signals.
CNM-Au8 is a federally registered trademark of Clene Inc. Clene, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, with R&D and manufacturing operations in Maryland, began in 2013.
ALS is the most prevalent adult-onset progressive motor neuron disease, affecting approximately 30,000 people in the U.S. and an estimated 500,000 people worldwide, with a life expectancy of typically three to five years. Clene estimates that global ALS treatment sales will be greater than $1 billion annually within the coming few years. Additional treatments affecting daily function and survival remain the market need.
Additionally, there are more than 2 million MS patients globally, and Clene estimates the market size to be worth more than $23 billion annually. While the MS community has been successful at limiting relapses, non-relapsing MS patients continue to clinically deteriorate even while receiving effective immunomodulatory disease-modifying therapies (“DMTs”). A critical unmet medical need remains for therapeutic interventions that protect neuronal function and myelin health independent of immunomodulation to address progression independent of relapse activity.
Robert Etherington is President, Director and CEO of Clene. He has more than 30 years of sales, marketing and leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Clene, he worked at Actelion Pharmaceuticals, the largest biopharma company in the European Union prior to its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 2017, where he led that company’s U.S. commercial operations. He began his pharmaceutical sales and marketing career at Parke-Davis, a division of Pfizer, where he rose to the position of Team Leader overseeing the drug Lipitor.
Mark Mortenson is Chief Science Officer at Clene. He is co-inventor of the technology platform developed to produce the company’s therapeutics. He is the inventor or co-inventor on 32 other U.S. patents and hundreds of corresponding international patents. He is a former chief patent counsel responsible for 5,500 U.S. and international patents and patent applications. He holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and ceramic engineering from Alfred University, a master’s degree in materials science from Penn State University and a J.D. from George Washington University.
Benjamin Greenberg, M.D., MHS, FAAN, is Head of Medical at Clene. He is an internationally recognized expert in disorders of the central nervous system. He is currently professor of neurology and Vice Chair of Clinical and Translational Research in the department of Neurology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins, a master’s degree in molecular microbiology and immunology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and graduated from Baylor College of Medicine. He served residency in neurology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Morgan R. Brown is CFO at Clene. He has more than 30 years of finance and accounting experience, with 23 years at biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies. He has served in similar roles at Lipocine Inc., Innovus Pharmaceuticals, World Heart Corp., Lifetree Clinical Research and NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. He previously worked at accounting firm KPMG. He is a CPA with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Utah State University and an M.S. in business administration from the University of Utah.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Clene.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CLNN are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CLNN
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