Ovid Therapeutics Announces TAK-935/OV935 Granted Orphan Drug Designation by U.S. FDA for Treatment of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a rare disorder that is often diagnosed between three and five years of age. Patients diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome experience multiple seizure types that are difficult to manage and have many of the same symptoms as other rare pediatric epilepsies.
“The FDA’s decision to grant orphan drug designation to TAK-935/OV935 for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome reflects the Agency’s recognition of the urgent need for additional treatments for this severe type of epilepsy,” said
TAK-935/OV935 is a potent, highly-selective, first-in-class inhibitor of the enzyme cholesterol 24-hydroxylase (CH24H). It is believed that CH24H is involved in over-activation of the glutamatergic pathway, which has been shown to play a role in the initiation and spread of seizure activity. To Ovid and Takeda’s knowledge, TAK-935/OV935 is the only molecule with this mechanism of action in clinical development.
“TAK-935/OV935 has a novel mechanism of action and could be a potentially transformative therapy for individuals diagnosed with rare epilepsies, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome,” said Dr. Emiliangelo Ratti, head of Takeda’s Neuroscience Therapeutic Area Unit. “The granting of orphan drug designation is an important milestone for the clinical development program for TAK-935/OV935, which we are currently evaluating in a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial with data anticipated in 2018.”
Orphan drug designation is intended to facilitate and expedite drug development for rare diseases for which there are no current treatments available. It also provides substantial benefits to the sponsor, including the potential for tax credits for clinical development costs, study-design assistance, and several years of market exclusivity for the product upon regulatory approval.
About Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is one of several disorders that together are designated as developmental and epileptic encephalopathies. Studies estimate that Lennox–Gastaut syndrome affects approximately 14,500 to 18,500 children under the age of 18 and over 30,000 children and adults in
Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies include epilepsy syndromes associated with severe cognitive and behavioral disturbances. The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) defines an epileptic encephalopathy as a condition in which “the epileptiform EEG abnormalities themselves are believed to contribute to a progressive disturbance in cerebral function.”
These epilepsies cause significant morbidities for patients beyond what might be expected from the known underlying pathology alone and can worsen over time. Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies typically present early in life and are often associated with severe cognitive and developmental impairment in addition to frequent treatment-resistant seizures throughout the person’s lifetime. These disorders vary in age of onset, developmental outcomes, etiologies, neuropsychological deficits, electroencephalographic (EEG) patterns, seizure types and prognosis.
TAK-935/OV935, which is being studied in developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, is a potent, highly-selective, first-in-class inhibitor of the enzyme cholesterol 24-hydroxylase (CH24H). CH24H is predominantly expressed in the brain, where it plays a central role in cholesterol homeostasis. CH24H converts cholesterol to 24S-hydroxycholesterol (24HC), which then exits the brain into the blood plasma circulation. Glutamate is one of the main neurotransmitters in the brain and has been shown to play a role in the initiation and spread of seizure activity. Recent literature indicates 24HC is involved in over-activation of the glutamatergic pathway through modulation of the NMDA channel, implying its potential role in central nervous system diseases such as epilepsy. To Ovid and Takeda’s knowledge, TAK-935/OV935 is the only molecule with this mechanism of action in clinical development.
TAK-935/OV935 has been tested in preclinical models to provide data to support the advancement of the drug into human clinical studies in patients suffering from rare epilepsy syndromes. A novel proprietary PET ligand, developed by
TAK-935/OV935 has completed four Phase 1 clinical studies, which have assessed tolerability and target engagement at doses believed to be therapeutically relevant. The
For more information on Ovid, please visit http://www.ovidrx.com/.
This press release includes certain disclosures that contain “forward-looking statements,” including, without limitation, statements regarding the progress, timing, scope and results of clinical trials for Ovid’s product candidates, the reporting of clinical data regarding Ovid’s product candidates, and the potential use of TAK-935/OV935 to treat rare epilepsies. You can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “will,” “believes” and “expects.” Forward-looking statements are based on Ovid’s current expectations and assumptions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements, which are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are set forth in Ovid’s filings with the