Sarepta Therapeutics Inc., a developer of innovative RNA-based therapeutics, announced it plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of 2014 for the approval of eteplirsen for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Eteplirsen is Sarepta’s lead exon-skipping drug candidate in development for the treatment of patients with DMD who have a genotype amenable to skipping of exon 51.
The plan to submit an NDA for eteplirsen by the end of 2014 is based on a guidance letter from the agency that proposed a strategy regarding the submission of an NDA for eteplirsen under a potential Accelerated Approval pathway and served as the final meeting minutes for four meetings that took place between November, 2013 and March, 2014. The agency stated that “with additional data to support the efficacy and safety of eteplirsen for the treatment of DMD, an NDA should be fileable,” and outlined examples of additional data and analysis that, if positive, will be important to enhance the acceptability of an NDA filing by addressing areas of ongoing concern in the existing dataset. Additionally, the agency provided clear guidance on an open-label, historically controlled confirmatory study of eteplirsen, as well as initial guidance on a placebo-controlled study of one or more follow-on DMD drug candidates, which, like the open-label study, could also be considered an acceptable confirmatory study to verify the clinical benefit of eteplirsen in the event of an accelerated approval.
“As we announce our plan to submit an eteplirsen NDA by the end of 2014, we are very pleased with the detailed guidance that the FDA has provided us on a potential eteplirsen approval pathway and their support of a historically controlled eteplirsen confirmatory study,” said Chris Garabedian, president and chief executive officer of Sarepta Therapeutics. “We also appreciate that the FDA shares our urgency in dosing a broader base of eteplirsen patients and has encouraged us to begin the clinical program with our follow-on exon-skipping drugs as soon as possible.”
Based on the agency’s guidance, Sarepta plans to initiate several additional clinical studies with eteplirsen later this year in exon-51 amenable genotypes. These studies will include a clinical trial with predefined efficacy endpoints for ambulatory patients between the ages of 7 to 16 years who can walk a minimum distance, and two additional clinical trials that will evaluate safety and biomarkers in DMD patients younger than 7 years and DMD patients who have advanced in their disease progression to a point they cannot walk a minimum distance or have become non-ambulant. Additionally, Sarepta plans to initiate a placebo-controlled study with one or more of its follow-on DMD exon-skipping drug candidates by the end of the year.
“We are excited to have guidance from the FDA that allows us to move quickly into additional clinical trials with eteplirsen to confirm our current understanding of eteplirsen’s safety profile, its effect on dystrophin production, and its impact on clinical outcomes in DMD patients,” said Edward Kaye, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Sarepta Therapeutics. “We are particularly pleased that the FDA shares our interest in accelerating the clinical development of our follow-on exon-skipping drugs and we expect to initiate enrollment in this trial later this year.”
Sarepta plans to immediately take steps to initiate the additional eteplirsen clinical studies with the goal of beginning dosing in the confirmatory study in the third quarter, with dosing in the additional trials (i.e., younger and more advanced DMD patients) to begin later this year.
Date: April 21, 2014
Source: Sarepta Therapeutics
Filed Under: Drug Discovery