Editas Medicine Receives FDA Orphan Drug Designation for EDIT-301 for the Treatment of Beta Thalassemia
“Beta thalassemia is a devastating disease that leads to severe anemia, organ failure, and premature death. Receiving Orphan Drug Designation for EDIT-301 for beta thalassemia highlights the urgent need for new treatment options for patients,” said
EDIT-301 is currently being investigated in a clinical study in patients with severe sickle cell disease (RUBY trial, NCT04853576). Editas expects to initiate a Phase 1/2 study of EDIT-301 in patients with transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia in 2022.
About Beta Thalassemia
Beta thalassemia is a common autosomal recessive disorder with an estimated annual incidence rate of 1 in 100,000 worldwide for symptomatic individuals. Beta thalassemia mutations reduce or abrogate beta globin expression. Insufficient beta globin production leads to ineffective red blood cell production, chronic hemolytic anemia due to the destruction of red blood cells, and compensatory extramedullary hematopoiesis (creation of blood cells). Based on clinical severity and transfusion requirements, beta thalassemia can be classified into non-transfusion-dependent (NTDT) and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia (TDT). TDT is the most severe form of beta thalassemia, and patients require lifelong regular red blood cell transfusions to prevent organ failure and death. Chronic red blood cell transfusions are complicated by iron overload leading to organ dysfunction and failure. Left untreated, the mortality rate among TDT patients is high, with a survival rate of only 15 percent at age five due to severe anemia.
EDIT-301 is an experimental cell therapy medicine under investigation for the treatment of severe sickle cell disease (SCD) and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia (TDT). EDIT-301 consists of patient-derived CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells edited at the gamma globin gene (HBG1 and HBG2) promoters, where naturally occurring fetal hemoglobin (HbF) inducing mutations reside, by a highly specific and efficient proprietary engineered AsCas12a nuclease. Red blood cells derived from EDIT-301 CD34+ cells demonstrate a sustained increase in fetal hemoglobin production, which has the potential to provide a one-time, durable treatment benefit for people living with severe sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia.
About Editas Medicine
As a leading genome editing company,
This press release contains forward-looking statements and information within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words ‘‘anticipate,’’ ‘‘believe,’’ ‘‘continue,’’ ‘‘could,’’ ‘‘estimate,’’ ‘‘expect,’’ ‘‘intend,’’ ‘‘may,’’ ‘‘plan,’’ ‘‘potential,’’ ‘‘predict,’’ ‘‘project,’’ ‘‘target,’’ ‘‘should,’’ ‘‘would,’’ and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding the Company’s expectation to initiate a Phase 1/2 study of EDIT-301 in patients with TDT in 2022 and dosing the first patient in the TDT clinical trial this year. The Company may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including: uncertainties inherent in the initiation and completion of pre-clinical studies and clinical trials and clinical development of the Company’s product candidates; availability and timing of results from pre-clinical studies and clinical trials; whether interim results from a clinical trial will be predictive of the final results of the trial or the results of future trials; expectations for regulatory approvals to conduct trials or to market products and availability of funding sufficient for the Company’s foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements. These and other risks are described in greater detail under the caption “Risk Factors” included in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is on file with the
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Source: Editas Medicine, Inc.