Designation Underscores Unmet Medical Need for Life-Threatening Seizure Condition
July 22, 2014
SAGE Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines to treat life-threatening, rare central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted fast track designation to the SAGE-547 development program. SAGE-547 is an allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors in development for the treatment of adult patients with refractory status epilepticus who have not responded to standard regimens (super-refractory status epilepticus, or SRSE). SAGE is currently evaluating SAGE-547 in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the treatment of SRSE. Preliminary data indicate that the first four patients enrolled in the clinical trial met the key efficacy endpoint, in that each was successfully weaned off his or her anesthetic agent while SAGE-547 was being administered. There have also been no reported drug-related serious adverse events in these four patients to date.
“The fast track designation for SAGE-547 recognizes the significant unmet need that exists in the treatment of super-refractory status epilepticus,” said Jeff Jonas, MD, chief executive officer of SAGE Therapeutics. “The receipt of orphan drug designation earlier this year for status epilepticus and the fast track designation are both significant regulatory milestones for SAGE-547, and we will continue to work closely with the FDA to advance our lead compound and the additional programs in our pipeline for the treatment of life-threatening CNS disorders.”
Fast track designation is granted by the FDA to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drug candidates that are intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs.
SAGE-547 is an allosteric modulator of both synaptic and extra-synaptic GABAA receptors. GABAA receptors are widely regarded as validated drug targets for a variety of CNS disorders, with decades of research and multiple approved drugs targeting these receptor systems. SAGE-547 is an intravenous agent in Phase 1/2 clinical development as an adjunctive therapy, a therapy combined with current therapeutic approaches, for the treatment of SRSE.
About Status Epilepticus (SE)
SE is a life-threatening seizure condition that occurs in approximately 150,000 people each year in the U.S., of which 30,000 SE patients die.1 We estimate that there are 35,000 patients with SE in the U.S. that are hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU) each year. An SE patient is first treated with benzodiazepines, and if no response, is then treated with other, second-line, anti-seizure drugs. If the seizure persists after the second-line therapy, the patient is diagnosed as having refractory SE (RSE), admitted to the ICU and placed into a medically induced coma. Currently, there are no therapies that have been specifically approved for RSE; however, physicians typically use anesthetic agents to induce the coma and stop the seizure immediately. After a period of 24 hours, an attempt is made to wean the patient from the anesthetic agents to evaluate whether or not the seizure condition has resolved. Unfortunately, not all patients respond to weaning attempts, in which case the patient must be maintained in the medically induced coma. At this point, the patient is diagnosed as having SRSE. Currently, there are no therapies specifically approved for SRSE.
About SAGE Therapeutics
SAGE Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SAGE) is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing novel medicines to treat life-threatening, rare CNS disorders. SAGE’s lead program, SAGE-547, is in clinical development for super-refractory status epilepticus and is the first of several compounds the company is developing in its portfolio of potential seizure medicines. SAGE’s proprietary chemistry platform has generated multiple new compounds that target GABAA and NMDA receptors, which are broadly accepted as impacting many psychiatric and neurological disorders. SAGE Therapeutics is a public company launched in 2010 by an experienced team of R&D leaders, CNS experts and investors. For more information, please visitwww.sagerx.com.