By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Capricor Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CAPR) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) application to conduct a new clinical trial of CAP-1002, its lead investigational therapy, in boys and young men in advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal genetic disorder for which there are limited treatment options (see also Capricor Therapeutics, Inc.).
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial will be called the HOPE-2 Trial and is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravenous, repeat doses of CAP-1002 in boys and young men whose ability to walk has been seriously impaired by the loss of muscle function that occurs as Duchenne muscular dystrophy progresses. The primary efficacy endpoint will be the relative change in the mid-level dimension of the Performance of the Upper Limb test from baseline to Month 12. The HOPE-2 Trial is expected to enroll approximately 84 patients and be conducted at 10-12 U.S. sites.
Capricor believes that if the primary endpoint is reached, the HOPE-2 Trial could serve as a registration trial, meaning that its results could support the submission of a Biologics License Application (BLA) to obtain marketing approval of CAP-1002. Capricor expects to initiate the HOPE-2 Trial in the first quarter of 2018.
Capricor plans to apply for the Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) Designation for CAP-1002 based on updated guidance recently issued by the FDA. If granted, the RMAT Designation would be expected to facilitate CAP-1002's path to potential registration.
The national principal investigator for the HOPE-2 trial will be Craig M. McDonald, M.D., a distinguished thought leader in the clinical management of neuromuscular diseases, including muscular dystrophies, and the development of novel outcome measures for Duchenne muscular dystrophy clinical trials.
"The FDA's clearance of this IND upon its initial submission is a significant step forward in our development of CAP-1002," said Linda Marban, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer. "While there are many clinical initiatives in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, this is one of the very few to focus on non-ambulant patients. These boys and young men are looking to maintain what function they have in their arms and hands and, based on our previous study, we think CAP-1002 may be able to do exactly that."
Capricor previously reported significant and sustained improvements in cardiac structure and function, as well as skeletal muscle function, following a single dose of intracoronary CAP-1002. The HOPE-2 Trial will test the potential benefit of CAP-1002 as a repeated therapy delivered intravenously, with the goal of providing long-term benefit in a format that is compatible with repeat dosing over time. Support for intravenous infusion, a common mode of drug delivery, is provided by studies which have shown therapeutic benefit in an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Capricor will hold a conference call and slide presentation at 4:30 p.m. ET today to discuss this development. To join: please dial 1-866-652-5200 (domestic) or 1-412-317-6060 (international). Access to the webcast and a replay of the call may be found at http://capricor.com/news/events/.
The HOPE trial was funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Keywords for this news article include: Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, Biomedicine, Neurology, FDA Actions, Bioengineering, Clinical Research, Drugs and Therapies, Muscular Dystrophies, Regenerative Medicine, Capricor Therapeutics Inc., Atrophic Muscular Disorders, Clinical Trials and Studies, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
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