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The Clinical Development of Taldefgrobep Alfa: An Anti-Myostatin Adnectin for the Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Neurology and Therapy 2024 January 9
INTRODUCTION: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic muscle disorder that manifests during early childhood and is ultimately fatal. Recently approved treatments targeting the genetic cause of DMD are limited to specific subpopulations of patients, highlighting the need for therapies with wider applications. Pharmacologic inhibition of myostatin, an endogenous inhibitor of muscle growth produced almost exclusively in skeletal muscle, has been shown to increase muscle mass in several species, including humans. Taldefgrobep alfa is an anti-myostatin recombinant protein engineered to bind to and block myostatin signaling. Preclinical studies of taldefgrobep alfa demonstrated significant decreases in myostatin and increased lower limb volume in three animal species, including dystrophic mice.

METHODS: This manuscript reports the cumulative data from three separate clinical trials of taldefgrobep alfa in DMD: a phase 1 study in healthy adult volunteers (NCT02145234), and two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in ambulatory boys with DMD-a phase 1b/2 trial assessing safety (NCT02515669) and a phase 2/3 trial including the North Star Ambulatory Assessment (NSAA) as the primary endpoint (NCT03039686).

RESULTS: In healthy adult volunteers, taldefgrobep alfa was generally well tolerated and resulted in a significant increase in thigh muscle volume. Treatment with taldefgrobep alfa was associated with robust dose-dependent suppression of free myostatin. In the phase 1b/2 trial, myostatin suppression was associated with a positive effect on lean body mass, though effects on muscle mass were modest. The phase 2/3 trial found that the effects of treatment did not meet the primary endpoint pre-specified futility analysis threshold (change from baseline of ≥ 1.5 points on the NSAA total score).

CONCLUSIONS: The futility analysis demonstrated that taldefgrobep alfa did not result in functional change for boys with DMD. The program was subsequently terminated in 2019. Overall, there were no safety concerns, and no patients were withdrawn from treatment as a result of treatment-related adverse events or serious adverse events.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02145234, NCT02515669, NCT03039686.

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