CARLSBAD, Calif., March 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS), a leader in antisense therapeutics, today announced the presentation of positive top-line data from a completed Phase 1/2 study of IONIS-HTTRx (RG6042) in people with early stage Huntington’s disease (HD) at the 13th Annual CHDI HD conference. The data demonstrate that IONIS-HTTRx(RG6042) is the first drug in development to lower the disease-causing protein in people with HD.
HD is a rare, progressive, neurodegenerative disease caused by genetic mutation in the huntingtin gene, which results in the production of a toxic protein, the mutant huntingtin (mHTT) protein, which gradually destroys neurons in the brain resulting in deterioration in mental abilities and physical control. Ionis designed IONIS-HTTRx (RG6042), a Generation 2+ antisense drug, to specifically reduce the production of all forms of the huntingtin protein, including mHTT.
“For nearly twenty years, I have seen many families devastated from losses to this progressive neurodegenerative disease. With IONIS-HTTRx (RG6042), the HD community has new hope for a therapy that can reduce the cause of HD, and therefore, may slow the progression and potentially prevent the disease in future generations, which is truly groundbreaking,” said Dr. Sarah Tabrizi, professor of clinical neurology, director of the University College London’s Huntington’s Disease Centre and the global lead investigator on the study. “I look forward to a longer-term, larger study that can establish the benefit of reducing the toxic mutant huntingtin protein in people with HD.”
Phase 1/2 Study Results:
- 46 people with early stage Huntington’s disease were treated for 13 weeks with four intrathecal injections of 10 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg, 90 mg or 120 mg of IONIS-HTTRx (RG6042) or placebo, administered monthly.
- Significant, dose-dependent reductions in mHTT were observed in CSF of treated participants with mHTT reductions of up to approximately 60% and mean reductions of approximately 40% in CSF observed at the two highest doses, 90 mg (p<0.01) and 120 mg (p<0.01).
- Based on a predictive model developed from data collected in rodents and non-human primates, a 40% to 60% reduction in CSF corresponds to an estimated 55% to 85% reduction in mHTT in the cortex and 20% to 50% in the caudate regions of the brain in humans.
- mHTT levels were continuing to decline at the last measurement with further decreases in mHTT anticipated; maximum reduction expected by approximately six months after first dose.
- No serious adverse events were reported in treated participants and most adverse events (AEs) were mild and considered to be unrelated to study drug. No participants discontinued from the study.
An open-label extension (OLE) study for patients who participated in the Phase 1/2 study is ongoing.
Roche has been working closely with Ionis on this program since 2013 and is now leading the development of IONIS-HTTRx (RG6042) and collaborating with the HD community. Roche is currently planning a pivotal trial to determine the clinical efficacy and safety of IONIS-HTTRx(RG6042).
“We designed IONIS-HTTRx to treat all patients with HD. These important clinical results demonstrate that our approach of targeting the toxic mutant huntingtin protein can significantly reduce the underlying cause of this terrible disease. In this study, we were able to achieve mutant huntingtin protein reductions in study participants that were higher than those that produced disease benefit in preclinical models of HD,” added Dr. C. Frank Bennett, senior vice president of research and franchise leader for the neurological programs at Ionis Pharmaceuticals. “We were pleased that this antisense approach, which targets all forms of the huntingtin protein, proved to be safe and well tolerated in this study. We look forward to working with Roche to quickly advance IONIS-HTTRx (RG6042) into a pivotal study, which we hope will lead to marketing approval for this new drug for people with HD.”
“IONIS-HTTRx is the latest example of the innovation and productivity of our antisense technology,” said Brett P. Monia, chief operating officer, senior vice president of antisense drug discovery and translational medicine at Ionis Pharmaceuticals. “Our efforts to develop antisense drugs for neurological diseases has already produced one commercial drug, SPINRAZA, another under review for marketing approval, inotersen, four drugs approaching definitive clinical studies, six preclinical-stage drugs, and more than 20 discovery-stage programs.”
CONFERENCE CALL AND WEBCAST
At 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time tomorrow, March 2nd, 2018, Ionis will host a live webcast and conference call to discuss these results. The Ionis management team will be joined on the call by Dr. Sarah Tabrizi, global lead investigator on the Phase 1/2 study, and Dr. Scott Schobel, associate group medical director and clinical science leader of product development neuroscience at Hoffman-La Roche Pharmaceuticals. Interested parties may listen to the call by dialing 877-443-5662 or access the webcast at www.ionispharma.com. A webcast replay will be available for a limited time at the same address.
Source: Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.