Multiple Sclerosis Treatemnt Receives Fast Track Designation Form FDA
News Sep 05, 2008
Dirucotide (MBP8298) is currently being evaluated in a U.S. pivotal phase III trial, named MAESTRO-03, at 68 sites with approximately 510 patients.
Fast track designation is an FDA status reserved for products that are intended to treat a serious or life-threatening condition and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs for that condition. Fast track designation can potentially facilitate development and expedite the review process.
"Our receipt of fast track designation for dirucotide in the U.S. is a significant milestone for both BioMS Medical and the MS community," said Kevin Giese, President and CEO of BioMS Medical. "Based on previous clinical results, we believe dirucotide is well-positioned to become a first-in-class treatment for secondary progressive MS patients, a large patient population with very limited treatment options."
The MAESTRO-03 U.S. pivotal phase III clinical trial is a randomized, double-blind study that has completed recruitment of approximately 510 patients at 68 clinical sites who will be administered either dirucotide (MBP8298) or placebo intravenously every six months for a period of two years.
The primary clinical endpoint for the trial is defined as a statistically and clinically significant increase in the time to progression of the disease as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), in patients with HLA-DR2 and/or HLA-DR4 immune response genes (up to 75% of all MS patients are HLA-DR2 and/or HLA-DR4 positive).
Dirucotide (MBP8298) is a synthetic peptide that consists of 17 amino acids having a sequence identical to that of a portion of human myelin basic protein (MBP). Dirucotide is being developed for the potential treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease caused by immune attack against normal components of the central nervous system. The sequence of dirucotide is associated with the autoimmune process in MS patients with certain immune response genes (HLA types DR2 and/or DR4); MS patients having these genes represent 65 to 75 percent of all MS patients.
The drug's apparent mechanism of action is the induction or restoration of immunological tolerance with respect to ongoing immune attack as a result of high doses of peptide periodically delivered intravenously. The potential benefit of the drug for any individual patient is therefore expected to be related to the role this peptide plays in that patient's immune system. The degree of immunomodulation achieved will depend on the relationship among the peptide, HLA molecules and T cells.
The results of phase II and long-term follow-up treatment of MS patients with MBP8298 (dirucotide), published in 2006 in the European Journal of Neurology (EJN), showed that MBP8298 (dirucotide) safely delayed median time to disease progression for five years (versus placebo) in progressive MS patients with HLA types DR2 and/or DR4. Thus, dirucotide (MBP8298), if approved, has the potential to be used as a tailored therapy for patients genetically determined to express the appropriate HLA molecules.