Introduction: Dystrophinopathy is a rare, severe muscle disorder, and nonsense mutations are found in 13% of cases. Ataluren was developed to enable ribosomal readthrough of premature stop codons in nonsense mutation (nm) genetic disorders.
Methods: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study; males ≥ 5 years with nm-dystrophinopathy received study drug orally 3 times daily, ataluren 10, 10, 20 mg/kg (N=57); ataluren 20, 20, 40 mg/kg (N=60); or placebo (N=57) for 48 weeks. The primary endpoint was change in 6-Minute Walk Distance (6MWD) at Week 48.
Results: Ataluren was generally well tolerated. The primary endpoint favored ataluren 10, 10, 20 mg/kg versus placebo; the week 48 6MWD Δ=31.3 meters, post hoc P=0.056. Secondary endpoints (timed function tests) showed meaningful differences between ataluren 10, 10, 20 mg/kg, and placebo.
Conclusions: As the first investigational new drug targeting the underlying cause of nm-dystrophinopathy, ataluren offers promise as a treatment for this orphan genetic disorder with high unmet medical need.
Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; genetic; nonsense mutation; orphan; pediatric.
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