Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

NIH Clinical Trial Begins for Treatment of Rare, Fatal Neurological Disorder

Published: Monday, April 29, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, April 29, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Government, industry, academia, and patient groups collaborate on Niemann-Pick Type C research.

A clinical trial to evaluate a drug candidate called cyclodextrin as a possible treatment for Niemann-Pick disease type C1 (NPC), a rare and fatal genetic disease, will start, researchers announced.

Scientists from the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) will conduct the clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center. Reaching this trial stage required collaboration among government, industry, patient advocacy groups and academic researchers.

No therapies approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration are available to treat NPC. The disease is characterized by the inability of cells to metabolize and dispose of cholesterol and lipids.

It causes excessive amounts of cholesterol to accumulate within the liver, spleen and brain. NPC leads to progressive impairment of motor and intellectual function in early childhood. In childhood onset cases, life expectancy does not normally exceed a patient's teenage years.

"A crucial part of the NCATS mission is to collaborate within and beyond the NIH on projects to improve and accelerate the translational research process and deliver tangible improvements in human health," said NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D.

Austin continued, "The cyclodextrin project is an important step in the development of both a potential treatment for a devastating disease that ravages the bodies and minds of its victims and a more efficient way to do translational projects."

In 2009, the NIH Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program, which is now led by NCATS, selected NPC cyclodextrin as one of its initial pilot projects to repurpose cyclodextrin from its conventional use as an ingredient in other drugs to a therapeutic for this rare disorder.

TRND researchers work with project collaborators to conduct preclinical studies advancing potential treatments for rare and neglected diseases to human clinical trials.

TRND supported animal toxicology studies to evaluate the safety of cyclodextrin and all necessary regulatory efforts and also supported the development of an NPC biomarker.

The biomarker test detects in the blood a modified cholesterol molecule specific to neuronal cells in the brain that would increase as a result of treatment with cyclodextrin.

TRND researchers and collaborators submitted the data in an Investigational New Drug application, filed Nov. 14, 2012, that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now agreed is sufficient to start a Phase I clinical trial.

"The multidisciplinary nature of this collaboration establishes a generalizable model that can be used in the pursuit of treatment candidates for rare and neglected diseases," said John McKew, Ph.D., acting director of the NCATS Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation, chief of the Therapeutic Development Branch and director of TRND. "In addition, the FDA was instrumental in helping our team move this project into human clinical trials."

The NPC Phase I clinical trial will test multiple doses of cyclodextrin in nine patients. Forbes Porter, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator and NICHD clinical director, and Nuria Carrillo, M.D., TRND staff physician, will conduct the trial.

Dr. Porter also is conducting a natural history study of NPC to collect health information from patients to understand how the disease develops. The natural history study is critical to understanding the clinical significance of a treatment for NPC patients.

"Initiation of this clinical trial is the culmination of two decades of basic and clinical research to understand and develop therapies for NPC," said Porter. "The efforts of the collaborators who make up the TRND NPC team have greatly accelerated translating cyclodextrin from the laboratory to the clinic."

The goal of the Phase I clinical trial is to determine a safe dose of cyclodextrin that will support an expanded Phase II trial to begin to evaluate the effectiveness of the drug.

The team already is in the initial stages of collaborating with the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT), which is administered by the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, to plan a Phase II multicenter trial.

The NPC cyclodextrin project was made possible by a collaborative approach that also included - in addition to NCATS, NICHD, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the FDA - the NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute; Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development; Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine; Albert Einstein School of Medicine, New York City, and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

A number of family support groups have made significant contributions as well that have led to the launch of the clinical trial through the funding of NPC research and patient support. They include the Ara Parshegian Medical Research Foundation, the International Niemann Pick Disease Alliance, the National Niemann Pick Disease Foundation, and Support Of Accelerated Research for Niemann -Pick Type C.

The NPC clinical trial is the fourth TRND project to advance to human clinical trials in the last 15 months. The three other clinical trials are evaluating treatments for sickle cell disease, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and hereditary inclusion body myopathy. TRND has a portfolio of 14 projects, which focus on rare and neglected tropical diseases.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

NIH Announces High-Risk, High-Reward Research Awardees
NIH to fund 78 awards to support highly innovative biomedical research.
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
New Gene Therapy for Vision Loss From a Mitochondrial Disease
NIH-funded study shows success in targeting mitochondrial DNA in mice.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
NIH Funding Targets Gaps in Biomedical Research
New awards support emerging issues in cutting-edge biomedical research fields.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Scientists Test New Gene Therapy for Vision Loss from a Mitochondrial Disease
NIH-funded study shows success in targeting mitochondrial DNA in mice.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Dormant Viral Genes May Awaken to Cause ALS
NIH human and mouse study may open an unexplored path for finding treatments.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
Scientists Create World’s Largest Catalog of Human Genomic Variation
An international team of scientists from the 1000 Genomes Project Consortium has created the world’s largest catalog of genomic differences among humans, providing researchers with powerful clues to help them establish why some people are susceptible to various diseases.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
Drug Used To Treat HIV Linked to Lower Bone Mass in Newborns
NIH study finds mothers’ use of tenofovir tied to lower bone mineral content in babies.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Repairing Nerve Pathways With 3-D Printing
A novel 3-D printing approach was used to create custom scaffolds that helped damaged rat nerves regenerate and improved the animals’ ability to walk.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Bone Risks Linked to Genetic Variants
A large-scale genomic study uncovered novel genetic variants and led researchers to an unexpected gene that affects bone density and fracture risk.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Genetic Adaptations to Diet and Climate
Researchers found genetic variations in the Inuit of Greenland that reflect adaptations to their specific diet and climate.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
NIH Launches Landmark Study On Substance Use And Adolescent Brain Development
Thirteen grants awarded to look at cognitive and social development in approximately 10,000 children.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Grants to Help Identify Variants in the Genome’s Regulatory Regions
New computational approaches needed to wade through millions of inherited DNA differences to find which ones matter.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Grants Awarded to Explore the Genome’s Regulatory Regions that Affect Disease Risk
New computational approaches needed to wade through millions of inherited DNA differences to find which ones matter.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
NIH Framework Points The Way Forward For Developing The President’s Precision Medicine Initiative
The NIH Advisory Committee to the Director has presented to NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., a detailed design framework for building a national research participant group, called a cohort, of 1 million or more Americans to expand our knowledge and practice of precision medicine.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Beth Israel Cardiology Team Awarded $3 Million by NIH
Work will help predict outcomes in patients with heart disease.
Friday, September 18, 2015
Scientific News
Lung Repair and Regeneration Gene Discovered
New role for hedgehog gene offers better understanding of lung disease.
How Cell Growth Triggers Cell Division
Researchers in Jan Skotheim's lab have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that controls how large cells grow, an insight that could one day provide insight into attacking diseases such as cancer.
Microbe Sleuth
Tanja Bosak examines how life and the Earth evolved in tandem during their early history together.
3 Ways Viruses Have Changed Science for the Better
Viruses are really good at what they do, and we’ve been able to harness their skills to learn about – and potentially improve – human health in several ways.
Restoring Vision with Stem Cells
Age-related macular degeneration (AMRD) could be treated by transplanting photoreceptors produced by the directed differentiation of stem cells, thanks to findings published today by Professor Gilbert Bernier of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.
The Age of Humans Controlling Microbes
Engineered bacteria could soon be used to detect environmental toxins, treat diseases, and sustainably produce chemicals and fuels.
Mixed Up Cell Transportation Key Piece of ALS and Dementia Puzzle
Researchers from the University of Toronto are one step closer to solving this incredibly complex puzzle, offering hope for treatment.
Metabolomic Platform Reveals Fundamental Flaw in Common Lab Technology
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) shows that a technology used in thousands of laboratories, called gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), fundamentally alters the samples it analyzes.
Atriva Therapeutics GmbH Develops Innovative Flu Drug
Highly effective against seasonal and pandemic influenza.
New Gene Therapy for Vision Loss From a Mitochondrial Disease
NIH-funded study shows success in targeting mitochondrial DNA in mice.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos