#CureSMA2018 – Cytokinetics and Cure SMA Renew Partnership to Expand Education, Awareness

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Cytokinetics and Reldesemtiv presentation

Cytokinetics and Cure SMA have expanded their existing partnership to increase education, awareness and fundraising for spinal muscular dystrophy (SMA).

As a National Platinum Partner for 2018, Cytokinetics will support several of Cure SMA’s initiatives at both local and national levels to help further research of potential SMA treatments.

In partnership with Astellas Pharma, Cytokinetics is developing reldesemtiv (CK-2127107), a next-generation fast skeletal muscle troponin activator (FSTA), for the potential treatment of SMA. The compound aims to act as a muscle activator by slowing calcium signaling in so-called fast skeletal muscle fibers.

Data from preclinical studies have shown that reldesemtiv improved muscle function in two mouse models of SMA, and three Phase 1 clinical trials in healthy volunteers supported reldesemtiv’s safety and tolerability.

The therapy candidate is the subject of an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial (NCT02644668) investigating reldesemtiv’s effectiveness and safety in 70 ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients with SMA types 2, 3, or 4.

The partnership expansion announcement was made ahead of the presentation of results from this Phase 2 trial, at the 2018 Annual SMA Conference taking place in Dallas, Texas, in June. Cytokinetics is a sponsor at this event.

“Cytokinetics has become one of our community’s most valued partners, and we are excited to have them back for another year of partnership,” Kenneth Hobby, president of Cure SMA, said in a press release. “Because reldesemtiv targets the muscles directly, it is an important program for our goal of attacking SMA through multiple avenues, in order to gain approved treatments for all ages, types, and stages of SMA. We thank them for their dedication to our community and look forward to another productive year together.”

“We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Cure SMA and are pleased to expand our involvements, particularly at a time when more attention and research are focused on the SMA community,” added Robert I. Blum, president and CEO of Cytokinetics. “We remain committed to advancing therapies for adolescents and adults with types II, III and IV SMA, a population in need of new therapies to address impaired muscle function and weakness despite the promise of gene-directed therapies,” he said.

Cytokinetics is particularly involved with the SMA community. As part of the Cure SMA Industry Collaboration, the company is part of a consortium of pharmaceutical industries, non-profit organizations and other stakeholders that share information, ideas and data to advance research.

The collaboration, now entering its second phase, will oversee the development of the Voice of the Patient Report and work on plans for future engagement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Cytokinetics is sponsoring several other SMA-related events, including the Concert for a Cure and the Northern California Walk-n-Roll, two large fundraisers.

The company also will sponsor the 2018 Hope on the Hill Congressional Dinner, an annual event that gathers families with national government and industry leaders to work on shared goals, such as increasing awareness and resources for SMA and its patient community.