BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Edgewise Therapeutics, Inc., (Nasdaq: EWTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing orally bioavailable, targeted, small molecule therapies for the treatment of devastating muscle disorders, today announced the publication of the article, “Modulating fast skeletal muscle contraction protects skeletal muscle in animal models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy,” in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
“This article illuminates the biology behind EDG-5506, demonstrating that modulation of fast skeletal muscle contraction protects against muscle injury, degeneration and fibrosis in models of DMD,” said Alan Russell, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Edgewise and senior author of the article. “Importantly, even 15% inhibition provides maximum and robust protection of skeletal muscles and was associated with increases in strength and physical activity in mouse and dog models of DMD.”
Kevin Koch, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer added, “This peer-reviewed publication provides further scientific validation for our approach, and these observations appear to translate to individuals with muscular dystrophy. We are excited about the potential of EDG-5506 for individuals affected by DMD and Becker muscular dystrophy, who are currently underserved with limited treatment options.”
About Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy
DMD is a severe, degenerative genetic disorder characterized by progressive impairment of muscle function. DMD affects an estimated one in every 3,500–5,000 male births, with an estimated 12,000–15,000 patients in the United States and approximately 25,000 patients in Europe. DMD, the most common type of muscular dystrophy, is caused by the absence of dystrophin, a protein that protects muscle from contraction-induced damage. Nearly all boys with DMD require the use of a wheelchair by the time they are young teens. Median life expectancy for a patient with DMD is around 30 years old. There is no cure for DMD and currently limited options are available for treatment of DMD.
BMD is a serious, progressively debilitating, and potentially fatal inherited X-linked neuromuscular disorder. BMD results from mutation of the dystrophin gene yielding unstable and/or dysfunctional dystrophin expression in muscles. Individuals with BMD, typically males, have ongoing muscle fiber (myofiber) degeneration that eventually leads to fibrosis, progressive loss of skeletal muscle function, and that can lead to severe disability and early death. BMD typically presents with juvenile onset of muscle wasting and progressive symmetrical, proximal muscle weakness, calf hypertrophy, activity-induced muscle cramping and elevated creatine kinase activity. While the course of BMD is variable, it is unidirectional in terms of the inevitable progressive limb weakness resulting in severe disability. BMD is also associated with early mortality from cardiac disease. The incidence of BMD is approximately 1 in every 18,450 live male births. It is estimated that there are between 4,000 to 5,000 individuals with BMD in the U.S., with similar numbers of individuals living with BMD in the EU and UK. Despite the seriousness of the disease, for many with BMD, the disease remains one of considerable unmet medical need as there are no approved therapies in the U.S.
EDG-5506 is an orally administered small molecule designed to prevent muscle damage induced by mechanical stress in dystrophinopathies including DMD and BMD. EDG-5506 presents a novel mechanism of action designed to selectively limit the exaggerated muscle damage caused by the absence or loss of functional dystrophin. By minimizing the progressive muscle damage that leads to functional impairment, EDG-5506 has the potential to benefit a broad range of patients suffering from debilitating rare neuromuscular disorders. It is anticipated to be used as a single agent therapy, but it may also provide an additional benefit in combination with available therapies and therapies currently in development. In August 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation to EDG-5506 for the treatment of individuals with BMD.
The Company has completed a Phase 1 clinical trial of EDG-5506 designed to evaluate safety, tolerability, PK and pharmacodynamics of EDG-5506 in adult healthy volunteers (Phase 1a) and in adults with BMD (Phase 1b) (NCT04585464). In ARCH, an open-label, single-center trial (NCT05160415) assessing long-term safety and PK, decreases in biomarkers of muscle damage and trends toward improvement in NSAA have been observed following 6 months of treatment with EDG-5506. CANYON, an ongoing Phase 2 trial (NCT05291091) is assessing safety, PK, biomarkers and functional measures in participants with BMD. LYNX, an ongoing Phase 2 trial (NCT05540860) is assessing safety, PK and biomarkers of muscle damage in participants with DMD.
About Edgewise Therapeutics
Edgewise Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative treatments for severe, rare neuromuscular and cardiac disorders for which there is significant unmet medical need. Guided by its holistic drug discovery approach to targeting the muscle as an organ, Edgewise has combined its foundational expertise in muscle biology and small molecule engineering to build its proprietary, muscle-focused drug discovery platform. Edgewise’s platform utilizes custom-built high throughput and translatable systems that measure integrated muscle function in whole organ extracts to identify small molecule precision medicines regulating key proteins in muscle tissue. The Company’s lead candidate, EDG-5506, an investigational orally administered small molecule designed to protect injury-susceptible fast skeletal muscle fibers in dystrophinopathies, is advancing in multiple clinical trials in individuals with Duchenne, Becker and Limb Girdle 2I/R9 muscular dystrophies, and McArdle’s disease. The Company is also advancing EDG-7500, a novel sarcomere modulator for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, into IND-enabling preclinical development. To learn more, go to: www.edgewisetx.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Statements in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements regarding the potential of, and expectations regarding, Edgewise’s drug discovery platform, product candidates and programs, including EDG-5506. Words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “will,” “goal,” “potential” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained herein are based upon Edgewise’s current expectations and involve assumptions that may never materialize or may prove to be incorrect. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: risks associated with the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics and operating as an early clinical stage company including the potential for Edgewise’s product candidates to cause serious adverse events; Edgewise’s ability to develop, initiate or complete preclinical studies and clinical trials for, obtain approvals for and commercialize any of its product candidates for muscular dystrophy patients or other patient populations; the timing, progress and results of preclinical studies and clinical trials for EDG-5506; Edgewise’s ability to raise any additional funding it will need to continue to pursue its business and product development plans; negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Edgewise’s operations, including preclinical and clinical trials; the timing, scope and likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals; the potential for any clinical trial results to differ from preclinical, interim, preliminary, topline or expected results; Edgewise’s manufacturing, commercialization and marketing capabilities and strategy; the size of the market opportunity for Edgewise’s product candidates; the loss of key scientific or management personnel; competition in the industry in which Edgewise operates; Edgewise’s reliance on third parties; Edgewise’s ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for its product candidates; general economic and market conditions; and other risks. Information regarding the foregoing and additional risks may be found in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in documents that Edgewise files from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and Edgewise assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements, except as required by law.