PTC Therapeutics, Inc. announced on 31st March 2022 the initiation of the PIVOT-HD Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating PTC518 in people with Huntington’s disease (HD). PIVOT-HD is a global trial starting in the United States. PTC518 is an oral, small molecule splicing modifier that was specifically designed to selectively lower huntingtin mRNA and protein. There are no current treatments for the underlying cause of HD.
“We are excited to advance our Huntington’s disease programme,” said Stuart W. Peltz, CEO, PTC Therapeutics.
In the PIVOT-HD trial, we aim to confirm the dose-dependent lowering of huntingtin protein that was demonstrated in our Phase 1 clinical study and gain insight to biomarker data that could provide meaningful evidence of treatment effect.Stuart W. Peltz, CEO, PTC Therapeutics.
The PIVOT-HD Phase 2 clinical trial is designed in two parts: an initial 12-week placebo-controlled phase focused on PTC518 pharmacology and pharmacodynamic effect, followed by a 9-month placebo-controlled phase focused on PTC518 biomarker effect.
About Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a rare, inherited disease that causes the progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain that has broad impact on a person’s motor and functional capabilities, resulting in both movement disorders and cognitive loss. While HD can present at any age, it is most prevalent in people aged 30 to 50, and it affects approximately 45,000 people in the United States. HD is caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene, which is responsible for creating huntingtin protein (HTT). As time progresses, the mutated huntingtin protein forms clumps in the brain cells, resulting in damaged cells and eventually cell death. HD has broad impact on a person’s motor and functional capabilities that results in both movement disorders cognitive loss. There are no treatments for the underlying cause of HD.
PTC518 is a small molecule splicing modifier that acts via a unique mechanism to promote the inclusion of a novel pseudoexon containing a premature termination codon, thus triggering HTT mRNA degradation and subsequent reduction in HTT protein levels. In a Phase 1 healthy volunteer study of PTC518 for Huntington’s disease, PTC518 demonstrated a dose-dependent lowering of HTT mRNA and protein to the targeted 30-50% reduction. In addition, PTC518 showed that it passes the blood brain barrier and has minimal efflux which is a key factor in the targeting the underlying cause of Huntington’s disease.