Acer Therapeutics Announces Poster Presentation at Society for Vascular Medicine Annual Meeting

Press Releases

Pilot study using claims database suggests that a minority of U.S. vEDS patients (34%) are being treated with antihypertensive medications

Data show no significant difference in clinical event rates in vEDS patients taking antihypertensive medications compared to those not taking an antihypertensive medication

NEWTON, MA May 31, 2019 – Acer Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ACER), a pharmaceutical company focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of therapies for serious rare and life-threatening diseases with significant unmet medical needs, today announced the presentation and publication of results from its Pilot Study to Evaluate Effect of Antihypertensive Therapy on the Rates of Clinical Events in Patients with Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (vEDS). These results were presented in a poster session at the Society for Vascular Medicine (SVM) 2019 Annual Scientific Sessions on May 30, 2019 and are available at The results will also be published in the online and print versions of SVM’s journal, Vascular Medicine.

The goal of this pilot study was to better understand the extent of use of antihypertensive medications in vEDS patients and their potential benefit in reducing the rate of vEDS-related clinical events. There are currently no approved medications to treat vEDS in the U.S.; however, antihypertensive medications are used by some physicians in vEDS patients with hopes of lowering the occurrence of clinical events.1

Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of U.S. insurance claims (Truven MarketScan®) identifying vEDS patients over a four-year period from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017. The insurance claims-based information was then stratified based on insurance claims for antihypertensive medications and no antihypertensive medication. Researchers then calculated and compared the clinical event rate, including arterial rupture and aneurysm, and other hollow organ rupture, for each group.

Of the 3,614 vEDS patients identified, 2,371 (65.6%) were determined not to be taking any antihypertensive medication and 1,243 (34.4%) were determined to be taking antihypertensive medications. There was no statistically significant difference between rate of clinical events in patients taking any of the antihypertensive medications compared to patients not taking an antihypertensive medication.

“While some physicians prescribe antihypertensive medications as possible preventative therapy in vEDS patients, the pilot study indicates that there is no evidence of their benefit in vEDS, other than the potential benefit displayed by celiprolol treatment in the only controlled clinical study of medical treatment in vEDS,”2 said William Andrews, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer of Acer. “While we recognize the limitations of drawing clinical conclusions from a pilot study based on retrospective analysis of insurance claims databases, we believe these results,  along with the high incidence of major complications in vEDS patients, underscore the serious need for an approved, safe and effective therapy for this disease.”

About vEDS and EDSIVO™ (celiprolol)

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a group of hereditary disorders of connective tissue. vEDS is the most severe subtype where patients suffer from life threatening arterial dissections and ruptures, as well as intestinal and uterine ruptures. The median mortality is 51 years of age.3 An Acer-commissioned patient-finder study phenotypically identified 4,169 vEDS patients in the U.S. from an analysis of a commercially available patient claims database with data of approximately 190 million unique patient lives. Based on that information, Acer estimates the prevalence of phenotypically-defined vEDS in the U.S. could be greater than 1 in 45,000. Currently, there are no FDA-approved therapies for vEDS. Acer is advancing EDSIVO™ (celiprolol), a new chemical entity (NCE), for the treatment of vEDS based on a randomized controlled clinical study of celiprolol2. FDA granted a priority review of the EDSIVO™ NDA and assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date of June 25, 2019. EDSIVO™ received FDA Orphan Drug Designation for the potential treatment of vEDS in 2015.

About Acer Therapeutics

Acer, headquartered in Newton, MA, is a pharmaceutical company focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of therapies for serious rare and life-threatening diseases with significant unmet medical needs. Acer’s pipeline includes three clinical-stage candidates: EDSIVO™ (celiprolol) for the treatment of vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) in patients with a confirmed type III collagen (COL3A1) mutation; ACER-001 (a fully taste-masked, immediate release formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate) for the treatment of various inborn errors of metabolism, including urea cycle disorders (UCDs) and Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD); and osanetant for the treatment of various neuroendocrine disorders. Acer’s product candidates are believed to present a comparatively de-risked profile, having one or more of a favorable safety profile, clinical proof-of-concept data, mechanistic differentiation and an accelerated path for development, which may include utilizing expedited programs (e.g. Priority Review) established by the FDA and/or using the regulatory pathway established under section 505(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) that allows an applicant to rely at least in part on third-party data for approval, which may expedite the preparation, submission and approval of a marketing application.

Disclosure notice: EDSIVO™ is an investigational drug candidate that has not been approved by the FDA for any indication.

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  1. Byers PH et al. Am J Med Genet Part C Semin Med Genet. 2017;175C:40-47.
  2. Ong KT, et al: . Effect of celiprolol on prevention of cardiovascular events in vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: a prospective randomised, open, blinded-endpoints trial. 2010;376(9751):1476-1484.
  3. Pepin M, et al. Clinical and genetic features of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type IV, the vascular type. N Engl J Med. 2000; 342:673-80.


Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” that involve substantial risks and uncertainties for purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenues, projected expenses, regulatory approvals, cash position, liquidity, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to expectations regarding our capital resources; the potential for EDSIVO™ (celiprolol), ACER-001 and osanetant to safely and effectively treat diseases and to be approved for marketing; the commercial or market opportunity in any target indication; the adequacy of our capital to support our future operations and our ability to successfully initiate and complete clinical trials and regulatory submissions; our progress toward our pre-commercial launch plans for EDSIVO™; the ability to protect our intellectual property rights; our  strategy and business focus;  and the development, expected timeline and commercial potential of any of our product candidates. We may not actually achieve the plans, carry out the intentions or meet the expectations or projections disclosed in the forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results and performance could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of many factors, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with the ability to project future cash utilization and reserves needed for contingent future liabilities and business operations, the availability of sufficient resources to meet our business objectives and operational requirements, the fact that the results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future clinical trial results, the protection and market exclusivity provided by our intellectual property, risks related to the drug development and the regulatory approval process, including the timing of regulatory actions, and the impact of competitive products and technological changes. We disclaim any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made. You should review additional disclosures we make in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Annual Report on Form 10-K. You may access these documents for no charge at

Investor Contact:

Hans Vitzthum

LifeSci Advisors

Ph: 617-535-7743


Jim DeNike

Acer Therapeutics Inc.

Ph: 844-902-6100


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