Repligen Reports Positive Results From Phase 1 Clinical Trial for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

April 25, 2012

Repligen Reports Positive Results From Phase 1 Clinical Trial for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Press Release | April 25, 2012

Repligen Corporation (NASD: RGEN) today announced positive results from a Phase 1 study to evaluate the pharmacokinetic (PK) and safety profile of RG3039, a novel small molecule drug candidate for the potential treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). SMA is a inherited neurodegenerative disease in which symptoms of progressive damage to motor neurons including loss of muscle function typically appear very early in life and often progress to severe physical disability and early loss of life. The Phase 1 trial was a blinded, ascending, single dose study of RG3039 administered to 32 healthy volunteers. The study results demonstrate that RG3039 was well tolerated at all doses administered, with no serious adverse events reported. The data also showed evidence of a dose-related drug response resulting in 90% inhibition of the target enzyme. These outcomes may help to establish appropriate RG3039 dosing regimens for future studies, including potential efficacy studies in SMA patients.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Isis Initiates Phase 1 Clinical Study of ISIS-SMNRx in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy

December 19, 2011

Isis Initiates Phase 1 Clinical Study of ISIS-SMNRx in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Press Release | December 19, 2011

CARLSBAD, Calif., Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISIS) announced today that it has initiated a Phase 1 study of ISIS-SMNRx in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). SMA is a severe motor-neuron disease that is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. Isis is developing ISIS-SMNRx as a potential treatment for all Types of SMA.

“SMA is a devastating disease that leads to the loss of motor neurons resulting in muscle weakness and respiratory failure in children. The genetic cause of this disease is well understood, but there are currently no effective disease-modifying therapies. Currently, treatment of SMA is entirely symptomatic and focuses on preserving muscle strength and lung function by physical therapy and assisted ventilation. This supportive approach has improved the natural history of SMA by extending life expectancy, but muscle weakness and atrophy are not affected. A disease-modifying drug like ISIS-SMNRx that specifically targets the cause of the disease could, for the first time, restore muscle strength and respiratory function and dramatically improve the children’s function and quality of life,” said Darryl C. De Vivo, M.D., Sidney Carter Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics and Co-Director of the Motor Neuron Center at Columbia University Medical Center.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Trophos completes patient enrolment in pivotal efficacy study of olesoxime in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

September 8, 2011

Trophos completes patient enrolment in pivotal efficacy study of olesoxime in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Press Release | September 8, 2011

Marseille France, September 8, 2011 – Trophos SA, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing innovative therapeutics from discovery to clinical validation for indications with under-served needs in neurology and cardiology, announced today the completion of patient enrolment in the pivotal efficacy study of olesoxime in the rare neurodegenerative condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Over 160 patients have been recruited into the trial since its initiation in October 2010. The study is substantially funded by Trophos’ partnership with the Association Française contre les Myopathies (AFM) (see release of 19 March 2009). The trial protocol has benefited from the EMA protocol advice procedure. Efficacy results are expected in the second half of 2013.

“The completion of recruitment in this pivotal clinical study in only ten months given the rarity of SMA is a great achievement and a major step in the development of olesoxime as a potential treatment for SMA,” said Jean-Louis Abitbol, chief medical officer at Trophos. “SMA is a debilitating and disabling neuromuscular disease and there is a critical need for a treatment that can slow down or prevent the loss of muscle function in SMA patients, for whom no specific treatment exists today. Over 160 patients have been included in the study in only ten months, which reflects both the great commitment of patients and clinicians to find a treatment for SMA and the motivation and hard work of all involved. We anticipate the results of the trial in the second half of 2013 and hope this will be a historic moment for the medical community as well as those affected now and in the future.”

“Thanks to the donations to the French telethon, we have been supporting the development of olesoxime since the first screening up to and including the ongoing clinical phases. The recruitment in this important clinical study has just been completed with great efficiency and brings hope for a first potential treatment to SMA patients,” said Christian Cottet, CEO, AFM.

“Trophos and the AFM been working together for over a decade and this crucial clinical study with Trophos’ olesoxime in SMA is the fruit of our long standing partnership,” said Damian Marron, CEO, Trophos. ”Olesoxime has a promising profile as a potential treatment for SMA and we are hopeful the results of this study will demonstrate that promise, bringing a much needed treatment option and new hope to SMA patients and their families. This study as well as our soon to be completed pivotal study of olesoxime in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) underlines Trophos’ commitment to developing breakthrough therapies for rare and serious neurodegenerative diseases.”

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Results From CARNI-VAL Clinical Trial Published: A Twelve Month Prospective, Open-label Trial of VPA and L-carnitine in Ambulatory Children with SMA

July 11, 2011

Results From CARNI-VAL Clinical Trial Published: A Twelve Month Prospective, Open-label Trial of VPA and L-carnitine in Ambulatory Children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

FSMA | July 6, 2011

The second set of results from the Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy funded CARNI-VAL clinical trial in ambulatory children published in PLoS ONE. The trial was completed by the Project Cure SMA Clinical Trial Network. The trial was registered at with identifier: NCT00227266.

Multiple lines of evidence, including treatment of patient-derived cell lines, animal models and open-label pilot human trials, have suggested that valproic acid (VPA) might have a therapeutic benefit in patients with spinal muscular atrophy. The SMA CARNIVAL TRIAL was a trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of combined oral VPA and l-carnitine in two different groups of children with SMA. Group 1 of this trial targeted non-ambulatory SMA children 2-8 years of age, randomized to receive placebo or treatment for the first six months, then active treatment for an additional six months (Please see group 1 results in an earlier article in this issue of Compass). Group two of this study was a twelve month open-label trial of VPA and L-carnitine in ambulatory children with SMA. Group two of the study involved an ambulatory group of 33 genetically proven SMA “standers and walkers” (type 3), between the ages 3-17 years.

Participants underwent two initial baseline assessments of functional over a 4-6 week period and then were placed on VPA and L-carnitine for 12 months. Functional assessments were performed at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months. Several primary functional assessments (outcomes / trial endpoints) were used, including safety, adverse event data, and efficacy. Efficacy (potential benefit) was measured by change in motor function at 6 and 12 months using the Modified Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale Extend (MHFMS-Extend), timed tests of gross motor function, and a fine motor module. Secondary outcome measures were tested at 6 and 12 month. These included maximum ulnar compound muscle action potential amplitudes (CMAP; see article in this issue of Compass describing what CMAP measures and indicates about motor neuron functionality), muscle strength by handheld dynamometry, pulmonary function measures, and patient and care-giver Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory scores.

Twenty-nine patients completed the 12 month open label study. VPA and carnitine were generally well tolerated, with only 1 patient developing a serious adverse event (dehydration) during the study. At least one adverse event occurred in 85% of all subjects but these were mild and similar to those seen in the group 1 study. The most common adverse events were pneumonia, gastrointestinal symptoms, fever and fractures; all except gastrointestinal symptoms were considered unlikely due to study medication. Excessive weight gain and abdominal pain were the most frequent drug-related adverse events. There was no significant change in any of the primary outcome measures at six or 12 months. There were some changes in secondary measurements. Some pulmonary function measures showed improvement at one year as expected with normal growth. CMAP amplitude did significantly improve at six and 12 months, suggesting a possible modest biologic effect directly on motor neurons, but that change was not clinically meaningful in improving participant function.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Drugs trial hope for brave Ruby

July 10, 2011

Drugs trial hope for brave Ruby

Worcester News | July 9, 2011 | By Richard Vernalls

A BRAVE young girl battling a rare genetic condition has started a cutting-edge medical trial which could offer hope of a brighter future to thousands of sufferers around the world.

Five-year-old Ruby Crowther has had more hurdles than most youngsters of her age to overcome.

The bright little girl, who goes to Rushwick CE Primary School, Worcester, has a degenerative nerve condition called type-2 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which causes the nerves sending messages to her muscles to die off.

We previously reported how Ruby needs a specially adapted wheelchair because she cannot walk and has limited use of her arms.

However, doctors have put her on a new trial involving a new drug called Olesoxime which is supposed to regenerate the nerves damaged by her condition.

She is one of only a handful of UK patients on the year-long trial. There are regular medical checks at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital where precise measurements are taken, to guage progress.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Repligen Receives U.S. Fast Track Designation and European Orphan Medicinal Product Recommendation for RG3039 for Spinal Muscular Atrophy

June 23, 2011

Repligen Receives U.S. Fast Track Designation and European Orphan Medicinal Product Recommendation for RG3039 for Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Press Release | June 23, 2011

WALTHAM, MA – June 23, 2011 – Repligen Corporation (NASDAQ: RGEN) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation for RG3039, a potential treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Fast Track is a process designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs that treat serious diseases and fill an unmet medical need. Once a drug receives Fast Track designation, frequent communication between the FDA and the sponsor is encouraged throughout the development and review process. In addition, RG3039 has received a positive opinion for orphan medicinal product designation from the European Medicines Agency. European orphan medicinal product designation aims to encourage the development of drugs involved in the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a life-threatening or chronically debilitating condition that affects no more than five in 10,000 persons in the European Union.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Cutting-Edge Research Saves Local Boy’s Life

May 24, 2011

Cutting-Edge Research Saves Local Boy’s Life

Danville Patch | May 22, 2011 | By Sarah Frank

In August, Danny McHale will turn 11, a milestone most doctors never thought he’d reach.

When Danny was just 5 ½ months old, his parents knew something was wrong. Danny wasn’t sitting up like other babies, and when he was put into a sitting position, he would flop right over.

Danny’s parents, Mary and Joe, took him to a neurologist, and after five minutes were told that he had Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Stage II, and to take him home and enjoy him while they could. They were told Danny was what doctors termed a “weak type II” because he did eventually sit with assistance as a baby.

They got the devastating news no parents want to hear—it was terminal. They were told their Danny had three to six months to live, and they should make sure to get him baptized.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…