Literature Review

Can a novel steroidal anti-inflammatory drug benefit patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy?


 

FROM NEUROLOGY

Oral administration of vamorolone, a first-in-class investigational steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, may benefit patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), data from an open-label study suggest.

Dr. Eric P. Hoffman, president and CEO of ReveraGen BioPharma in Rockville, Md., and associate dean for research in the school of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at Binghamton (N.Y.) University Jonathan Cohen/Binghamton University

Dr. Eric P. Hoffman

Daily treatment with vamorolone at doses of 2.0 mg/kg per day and 6.0 mg/kg per day suggested possible efficacy in a 24-week study, researchers said. The exploratory study included 48 boys who had completed a phase 2a trial.

The treatment was safe and well tolerated, and patients who received 2.0 mg/kg per day had significantly improved muscle function, as assessed by time to stand, compared with natural history controls, according to the results, which were published in Neurology.

In addition, the novel drug may reduce “safety concerns typically seen with traditional glucocorticoids,” wrote Eric P. Hoffman, PhD, and coauthors. Dr. Hoffman is president and CEO of ReveraGen BioPharma in Rockville, Md., which is developing the drug, and associate dean for research in the school of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at Binghamton (N.Y.) University.

In preclinical studies, vamorolone retained anti-inflammatory efficacy while reducing adverse effects, compared with prednisolone, in a manner that is “consistent with vamorolone blocking [nuclear factor-kappa beta]–associated proinflammatory signals as a ligand/receptor monomeric state instead of the traditional molecular models of ligand/receptor dimeric complexes,” the authors said.

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