2022 was a year of significant progress at George Medicines, as we further advanced the development of our single-pill, multi-mechanism drug combinations – central to our mission of extending and improving the lives of those suffering from non-communicable diseases, which remain the world’s leading causes of death and disability.
Improving efficacy and adherence in hypertension treatment
Accelerating development of our lead candidate, GMRx2, as a first-line treatment for hypertension, has been our priority this year. Raised blood pressure is the number one cause of preventable death worldwide. More than a billion people are living with hypertension but fewer than one in five of those have their condition under control. As Professor Neil Poulter, Director of Imperial Clinical Trials Unit and past-President of the International Society of Hypertension, told us in a discussion about current treatment options and the challenges of managing hypertension, “we must do better”.
GMRx2 has the potential to provide an optimal balance of increased efficacy, improved patient adherence and reduced side effects compared with current treatments, and its phase III programme is close to the finish line with pivotal data expected next year.
Working with the right partner to transform how hypertension is treated
Our business model is to take our medicines through development and to secure regulatory approvals. The next step – equally, if not more, important – is to work with others to build sustainable, commercial strategies that will enable patients the world over to access our medicines. So right now, a huge amount of work is underway to understand key local markets and populations for GMRx2 and to identify the right partners who can work together with us to commercial this medicine and secure access for patients. In January we head to the J.P. Morgan Conference in San Francisco, an annual event for many healthcare companies and an important forum for us to update potential partner companies on GMRx2’s progress and its potential to deliver real change for people living with hypertension.
Addressing the growing burden of hypertension in Africa
With our company mission to improve the health of millions of people worldwide, we are looking to address the non-communicable disease health needs of all patients, regardless of where they live. That’s why we were delighted to join forces this year with colleagues in Nigeria to support the VERONICA trial, which is using GMRx2 to investigate whether a novel strategy of single-pill, triple combination therapy could improve blood pressure control whilst also improving cost-effectiveness. Poor adherence and limited access to quality and affordable medications are major roadblocks to bringing good blood pressure control to patients in Africa. There is much to do if we are to reduce the patient, logistical and economic burden of hypertension in the region.
Helping patients to better control their diabetes
Building on the progress of our GMRx2 programme in hypertension, in 2022 we chose the next combination candidate to prioritise in our pipeline – GMRx4, which has advanced into Phase II development as a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. Also a triple combination candidate, GMRx4 is being developed to provide a synergistic effect from three best-in-class type 2 diabetes treatments and, in an ultra-low-dose, single-pill formulation, aims to be a more effective, simpler and safer treatment regimen than existing therapies for newly diagnosed patients.
The advancement of this candidate is a further indication of the strength of our pipeline and the rapid progress of our business in 2022. Receiving a AUS$1.5 million grant from CUREator, Australia’s national biomedical incubator managed by Brandon BioCatalyst, to support development of this asset was important validation of our approach.
All of this progress sets the stage for 2023 to be a significant year for George Medicines. Thank you to all colleagues, partners and patients who are helping us to deliver the new treatment options that we hope will one day enable people living with non-communicable diseases to lead more productive and healthier lives.