The partnership aims to increase education and awareness for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), as well as to promote public policy and fundraising efforts that support people who are living with this condition and their loved ones.
As a company, Cytokinetics is focused on the development of new therapies that improve muscle health in conditions where muscles deteriorate, including SMA and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It has several candidate therapies at various stages of development, including reldesemtiv (CK-2127107), a next-generation fast skeletal muscle troponin activator (FSTA), for the potential treatment of SMA.
Being developed in collaboration with Astellas Pharma, the compound aims to act as a muscle activator by slowing calcium signaling in so-called fast skeletal muscle fibers. Results of a Phase 2 trial (NCT02644668) showed that treatment with reldesemtiv improved exercise capacity and respiratory muscle strength of patients with SMA types 2–4, who received one of two doses (150 mg and 450 mg) twice daily or a placebo.
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Cytokinetics has been supporting Cure SMA at both the national and local level. It was a Platinum Sponsor this year at the 2019 Annual SMA Conference, an event that aims to connect families affected by SMA with researchers and clinicians who specialize in the disease in order to foster networking, learning, and collaboration.
A the local level, Cytokinetics has been a sponsor for two Cure SMA fundraising events in the Northern California community, where the company is based: Concert for a Cure, which took place in May, and the Northern California Walk-n-Roll, which was held in August. In years past, these events have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of those affected by SMA, with over $2 million raised by Concert for a Cure to date.
Cytokinetics will also sponsor the 2019 Hope on the Hill Congressional Dinner, an event that connects families affected by SMA with industry leaders and government officials in order to increase awareness, promote the development of potential treatments, and improve care for people with SMA.
Additionally, Cytokinetics will continue its membership in the Cure SMA Industry Collaboration, which connects pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations in order to share ideas, information, and data.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with Cure SMA. There is no more appropriate time to publicly recommit to the SMA community than at the culmination of SMA awareness month (August),” Robert I. Blum, president and chief executive officer of Cytokinetics, said in a press release from Cytokinetics announcing the renewed partnership. “We remain committed to pursuing new therapies that may improve muscle function in people with SMA.”