Translarna™ (ataluren) is the First Therapy Approved in Brazil for DMD

– Ambulatory Duchenne patients who are five years and older with a nonsense mutation can now access a treatment that targets the underlying cause of DMD –

 

PTC Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that Translarna™ (ataluren) has been granted marketing approval from the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) under rare diseases procedure, for the treatment of ambulatory children five years and older with Duchenne muscular dystrophy caused by a nonsense mutation. Patients now can have access to a treatment that targets the underlying cause.

 

Eric Pauwels, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Americas of PTC Therapeutics, Inc.– “The regulatory approval from the Brazilian authorities will accelerate access to Translarna for the many patients who have been waiting for treatment. We are committed to working quickly to make Translarna available to all patients in Brazil who may benefit.”

 

Alexandra Prufer, Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School, The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. – “Muscle damage in Duchenne starts very young, so early diagnosis and treatment is critical to maintain muscle function and delay disease progression. Treatment measures should be started once children are diagnosed when there is the most amount of muscle to effect.”

 

About Translarna 


Ataluren, discovered and developed by PTC Therapeutics, Inc., is a protein restoration therapy designed to enable the formation of a functioning protein in patients with genetic disorders caused by a nonsense mutation. A nonsense mutation is an alteration in the genetic code that prematurely halts the synthesis of an essential protein. The resulting disorder is determined by which protein cannot be expressed in its entirety and is no longer functional, such as dystrophin in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Translarna, tradename ataluren, is licensed in the European Economic Area for the treatment of nonsense mutation Duchenne muscular dystrophy in ambulatory patients aged two years and older. Ataluren is an investigational new drug in the United States.

CLINICAL TRIAL OF ATALUREN IN CANADA

PORTRAIT OF DUCHENNE – ATALUREN: A PROMISING TREATMENT FOR DMD

About PTC Therapeutics, Inc.


PTC is a science-led, global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of clinically-differentiated medicines that provide benefits to patients with rare disorders. PTC’s ability to globally commercialize products is the foundation that drives investment in a robust pipeline of transformative medicines and our mission to provide access to best-in-class treatments for patients who have an unmet medical need.

Pioneers in DMD therapy

News provided by PTC Therapeutics, Inc.  Apr 29, 2019, 09:18 ET

Press Release > Translarna™ (ataluren) is the First Therapy Approved in Brazil for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

The brother movie: Stuck between a rich inner life and daily struggles with Duchenne

The brother movie is the story of the Karouani family in France and their daily life with Kaïs, their son, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Duchenne is a degenerative muscle disease. In France, it’s called Duchenne myopathy. There is no cure and no hope of recovery. The life expectancy of people with DMD is 20 to 30 years. Every day, every week marks the loss of muscle strength and autonomy for youth with DMD.

The brother movie follows Kaïs, a young adult in his 20s, at a time when DMD is hitting hard. On awakening, every morning, he needs the help of his parents and brothers, Fehd, the bodybuilder, and Zaïd, the ninja, to cope with DMD.

Between dreams and living the disease

This short film reveals two parallel universes: the imaginary world in which Kaïs takes refuge with the animated heroes of manga; and, his difficult mornings in a body weakened by disease. The film presents five mornings in his life, as seen from the perspective of different family members, who take turns getting him out of bed in the morning. It is difficult for his family to accept the prospect of Kaïs’ death at such a young age, but it’s just as difficult for them to watch his suffering.

The brother movie presents a unique perspective of DMD. Film sequences switch from the reality of living with DMD to Kaïs passion – his animated dreamworld of manga. This short film alternates between animation and real-life shooting to connect viewers to Kaïs’ inner life and the real life that people with DMD and their families must endure.

A film to raise awareness about DMD

Strong in emotion, this short film puts a human face on this terrible disease. This awareness is essential to the development of new treatments for DMD. The wide distribution of this film will sensitize the public to this disease.

The production team

Mireille Roy, President and Founder of Tecima Productions, produced this article > Facebook Tecima Productions –  Tecima.com

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FibroGen receives orphan drug designation for Pamrevlumab

FibroGen Receives Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. FDA For Pamrevlumab for the Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

 

FibroGen, Inc. a leading biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing a pipeline of first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation for the company’s anti-CTGF antibody, pamrevlumab, for the treatment of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

DMD is caused by the absence of the dystrophin protein, resulting in abnormal muscle structure and function and buildup of fibrosis in muscle, which diminishes mobility, pulmonary function, and cardiac function. Constant myofiber breakdown results in persistent activation of myofibroblasts and aberrant production of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, including collagens and fibronectin, leading to extensive fibrosis in skeletal muscles.

Pamrevlumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the activity of connective tissue growth factor, or CTGF, a critical mediator in the progression of fibrosis and related serious diseases.

 

Elias Kouchakji, M.D., Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Drug Safety – “We are pleased to have received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for pamrevlumab in the treatment of DMD. There is a high unmet medical need for patients suffering from this debilitating disease needing a new treatment option. All 21 non-ambulatory DMD patients in our ongoing phase 2 study with pamrevlumab have completed the first 52 weeks of treatment. We are evaluating a number of clinical parameters in this study, including lung function, cardiac function, and upper extremity muscle function, and tissue fibrosis. We look forward to the continued development of this investigational therapeutic.” News release here.

 

About Pamrevlumab

Pamrevlumab is a first-in-class antibody developed by FibroGen to inhibit the activity of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a common factor in fibrotic and proliferative disorders characterized by persistent and excessive scarring that can lead to organ dysfunction and failure. Pamrevlumab is advancing towards Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and pancreatic cancer. Pamrevlumab has been granted Orphan Drug Designation in IPF, pancreatic cancer, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Pamrevlumab has also received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with IPF and patients with locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer and is currently in a Phase 2 trial for DMD. Across all trials, pamrevlumab has consistently demonstrated excellent safety and tolerability profile to date. For information about pamrevlumab studies currently recruiting patients, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

Pamrevlumab is being evaluated in ongoing Phase 2 clinical studies for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pancreatic cancer, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

About Orphan Drug Designation

Orphan Drug Designation program provides orphan status to drugs and biologics which are defined as those intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases/disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S., or that affect more than 200,000 persons but are not expected to recover the costs of developing and marketing a treatment drug. This designation qualifies the sponsor for various development incentives of the Orphan Drug Act, including tax credits for qualified clinical testing, to advance the evaluation and development of products that demonstrate promise for the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases or conditions. Orphan Drug Designation can also convey up to seven years of marketing exclusivity if the compound receives regulatory approval from the FDA.

Health Canada has quietly deleted from its website all references to a planned framework for rare-disease drugs that dates back to 2012 and was intended to improve the availability of such drugs in Canada.

Canada is one of the only developed countries without a regulatory framework for rare-disease drugs, also known as orphan drugs.

 

About FibroGen

FibroGen, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, California, with subsidiary offices in Beijing and Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, is a leading biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing a pipeline of first-in-class therapeutics. For more information, please visit www.fibrogen.com.

Deepen a few words

CTGF, also known as CCN2 or connective tissue growth factor

CTGF has essential roles in many biological processes, including cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, angiogenesis, skeletal development, and tissue wound repair and is critically involved in fibrotic disease and several forms of cancers. A tissue is defined as the substance made up of cells of the same composition that all perform the same function. Connective tissue primarily serves to support and protect the other types of body tissues. They are located between the organs and constitute a considerable part of the body’s cellular tissue. They are primarily composed of cells, notably fibroblast cells that create another significant component of the body: collagen fibres, which ensure the resistant quality of connective tissue. This tissue also contains a substance called the extracellular matrix in which the cells rest.

Myofibroblasts

Myofibroblasts differentiate, invade and repair injured tissues by secreting and organizing the extracellular matrix and by developing contractile forces. When tissues are damaged, tissue homeostasis must be re-established, and repair mechanisms have to rapidly provide harmonious mechanical tissue organization, a process primarily supported by (myo)fibroblasts.

Sources

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New gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Audentes Therapeutics, Inc., a leading Adeno-associated virus (AAV)* based genetic medicines company focused on developing and commercializing innovative products for serious rare neuromuscular diseases; announced it had expanded its scientific platform and pipeline to advance vectorized antisense treatments for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1).

The Gene Therapy Market

Very promising and strong from its first successes, gene therapy benefits from active research and its development intensifies. Generating both hope and caution, it is about to prove its potential. The history of gene therapy is 30 years old. In 1999, the first clinical trials were carried out by the team of Professor Alain Fischer, at Necker Hospital for Sick Children, on young patients with severe immune deficiency (so-called “bubble children”).

The developments are long and require the creation of companies and industrial partnerships.

 

Gene therapy is now a real “promise” for patients and not just a “hope”.

 

In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first drug to treat DMD, Sarepta’s Exondys 51. It was a long, dramatic and controversial approval journey involving numerous public hearings, internal FDA battles and letters from Congress and leading DMD physicians to the agency.

These deals mark the entry of gene therapy into mainstream drug development. Roche recently acquired Spark Therapeutics for $4.8 billion. Spark developed a gene therapy for rare eye disease and hemophilia. And in 2018, Novartis acquired AveXis for $8.7 billion. AveXis has a gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

 

Audentes Therapeutics Partners with Nationwide Children’s Center

Published on April 8, 2019

Audentes Therapeutics, Inc., a leading Adeno-associated virus (AAV)* based genetic medicines company focused on developing and commercializing innovative products for serious rare neuromuscular diseases; today announced it had expanded its scientific platform and pipeline to advance vectorized antisense treatments for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1).

To accelerate these promising new programs, Audentes has entered into a licensing agreement and will collaborate with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, utilizing the expertise of Kevin M. Flanigan, M.D. and Nicholas S. Wein, Ph.D., two recognized leaders in the field of genetic medicines for neuromuscular diseases.

 

Matthew R. Patterson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – «Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward in expanding our scientific platform and deepening our pipeline of product candidates for neuromuscular diseases with high unmet medical need.

We see tremendous potential in combining AAV with validated oligonucleotide-based approaches to treat diseases that are not amenable to traditional AAV-based gene replacement.

We believe this approach, combined with our in-house large-scale cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) manufacturing capability, can deliver best-in-class therapies for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and myotonic dystrophy.»

 

Dr. Flanigan, Director of Nationwide Children’s Center for Gene Therapy – «We are excited to be collaborating with Audentes to advance these novel, highly differentiated approaches for DMD and DM1…»

 

Audentes and Nationwide Children’s are collaborating to develop AT702, an AAV-antisense candidate designed to induce exon two skipping for DMD with duplications of exon 2 and mutations in exons 1-5 of the dystrophin gene. Audentes is currently conducting additional preclinical work and expects to commence a Phase 1/2 study at Nationwide Children’s in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Audentes approach

Separate from the Nationwide Children’s collaboration, Audentes is also conducting preclinical work to advance AT751 and AT753, additional vectorized exon skipping candidates, to treat DMD patients with genotypes amenable to exon 51 and exon 53 skipping. Both AT751 and AT753 utilize the same vector construct backbone as AT702, enabling a potentially accelerated path into clinical development. With these initial programs, Audentes is targeting more than 25% of patients with DMD and has plans to leverage its vectorized exon-skipping platform to develop further product candidates to address up to 80% of DMD patients over time.

This approach combines the delivery power of AAV with the precision tools of antisense oligonucleotides, or ASOs, to develop potential best-in-class therapeutic candidates for these devastating neuromuscular diseases.

Adeno-associated virus (AAV)*

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a small virus that infects humans and some other primate species. AAV is a very attractive candidate for creating viral vectors for gene therapy, and for the creation of isogenic human disease models.

Vectorized exon skipping uses an AAV vector

Vectorized exon skipping uses an AAV vector to deliver an antisense sequence designed to induce cells to skip over faulty or misaligned sections of genetic code, leading to the expression of a more complete, functional protein. For the treatment of DMD, this approach has the potential to provide significant advantages over microdystrophin gene replacement strategies that produce a substantially truncated protein, which may limit the degree and durability of disease correction, as well as existing ASO therapies, whose efficacy is limited by poor biodistribution to muscle tissue.

Antisense therapy (ASO)

Antisense therapy is a form of treatment for genetic disorders or infections. When the genetic sequence of a particular gene is known to cause a particular disease, it is possible to synthesize a strand of nucleic acid (DNA, RNA or a chemical analogue) that will bind to the messenger RNA (mRNA) produced by that gene and inactivate it, effectively turning that gene “off”. This is because mRNA has to be single-stranded for it to be translated. Alternatively, the strand might be targeted to bind a splicing site on pre-mRNA and modify the exon content of an mRNA.

About Audentes Therapeutics, Inc.

Audentes Therapeutics (Nasdaq: BOLD) is a leading AAV-based genetic medicines company focused on developing and commercializing innovative products for serious rare neuromuscular diseases. We are leveraging our AAV gene therapy technology platform and proprietary manufacturing expertise to develop programs across three modalities: gene replacement, vectorized exon skipping, and vectorized RNA knockdown. Our product candidates are showing promising therapeutic profiles in clinical and preclinical studies across a range of neuromuscular diseases. Audentes is a focused, experienced and passionate team driven by the goal of improving the lives of patients. For more information regarding Audentes, please visit www.audentestx.com.

 

About Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-19 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.

 

Myotonic dystrophy

Myotonic dystrophy is the most common form of adult-onset muscular dystrophy, with a worldwide prevalence of 14 per 100,000 population. More on muscle.ca

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