Image credit: Rexgenero

The first UK clinical trial site for the treatment of diabetic patients with chronic limb-threatening ischaemia using a novel patient-specific regenerative therapy has opened for patient recruitment at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. The site will be evaluating REX-001 (Rexgenero) in two phase III trials codenamed the SALAMANDER trials. The trials are being led by Ian Williams (University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK).

REX-001, according to a press release, represents a new class of regenerative medicines. It is an autologous cell therapy manufactured using the patient’s own bone marrow and consists of immune cells (lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes) and progenitor cells involved in immune modulation and tissue regeneration. The therapy is administered as a single dose within four days after collection of bone marrow cells.

The press release adds that the experimental product has already demonstrated efficacy in phase I/II studies. In the phase II clinical trial, 82% of patients with non-healing ischaemic ulcers were healed within the first 12 months after a single administration dose of REX-001.

Rexgenero is planning to treat a total of 60 patients with chronic limb-threatening ischaemia and rest pain and 78 patients with chronic limb-threatening ischaemia and non-healing ischaemic ulcers in two independent phase III SALAMANDER trials in approximately 25 hospitals across Europe. In addition to the trial sites in the UK, Rexgenero is also recruiting patients for both trials at sites in Spain, Austria, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

Joe Dupere, CEO of Rexgenero, comments: “Treating our first patient with REX-001 in the UK represents an important milestone for our phase III programme in diabetic patients with chronic limb-threatening ischaemia, a severe condition with high unmet need. With clinical trial sites and manufacturing bases now open across multiple countries in Europe, we are one step closer to completion of the Phase III studies and potential regulatory and market approval for an innovative and much-needed product.”

The University Hospital of Wales is participating in the trials through a consortium—the Midlands-Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (MW-ATTC), part of the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre Network (ATTC) which aims to bring pioneering advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) to patients. THE MW-ATTC has been working in collaboration with the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board to progress the initiation of the two SALAMANDER trials and is planning to activate new clinical trial sites in the Midlands in England shortly.