DM research moves forward as two clinical trials testing medications for this form of myositis report outcomes today.

TMA is encouraged by Corbus Pharmaceuticals’s announcement of success in a phase 2 clinical trial of lenabasum. This cannabinoid receptor type 2 agonist demonstrated significantly reduced skin symptoms in patients with dermatomyositis whose disease was resistant to conventional treatments. Patients in this open label trial also reported noticeable improvement in pain and other quality of life measures.

Former TMA medical advisor and principal investigator on the study, Dr. Victoria Werth, will report on these findings at the European Congress on Rheumatology (EULAR) meeting in Amsterdam this week.

Lenabasum was also reported to show promise in reducing symptoms of systemic sclerosis, a condition that can occur in overlap with myositis.

Corbus expects to begin the next phase of clinical trials of lenabasum for the treatment of dermatomyositis by the end of this year.

On the bad news side, however, TMA is disappointed to learn that Idera Pharmaceuticals’s phase 2 clinical trial of IMO-8400 in adult patients with dermatomyositis did not meet its primary endpoint. The drug, a toll-like receptor antagonist, was not able to show significant improvement in skin disease severity when compared with placebo. The analysis of other exploratory endpoints was also negative.

The company plans to share their key findings from the study with all the researchers who partnered with them in this study in the hope that this information may be useful in further understanding DM and possible treatments.

Despite this disappointing news, Idera is very grateful to TMA members who not only devoted considerable time and energy to participate in the study, but also helped in the development and conduct of this trial.

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