CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fulcrum Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: FULC), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on improving the lives of patients with genetically defined rare diseases, today announced it will present multiple posters on the company’s ongoing studies in patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) during the 25th International Congress of the World Muscle Society.
“FSHD is a serious and debilitating disease for which there are currently no approved therapies,” said Diego Cadavid, MD, Fulcrum’s senior vice president, clinical development. “We are pleased to share these data at this important scientific meeting as we continue to pursue losmapimod as a potential treatment for FSHD by addressing the root cause of the disease. We greatly appreciate the patients who have participated in our trials and the support we have received from key opinion leaders and investigators.”
During the Virtual Poster Session today, October 1, 2020 from 12:30pm – 2:30pm ET, Fulcrum will present four posters on its integrated approach to the evaluation of FSHD patients, highlighting the progress made in the development of imaging and molecular biomarkers in FSHD and the design of clinical trials to evaluate potential benefits of losmapimod in FSHD patients:
Development and Evaluation of a Whole-body MRI Protocol and Analysis Algorithms to Measure Changes in Skeletal Muscle in FSHD
A Biomarker of Aberrant DUX4 Activity to Evaluate Losmapimod Treatment Effect in FSHD Phase 2 Trials
Open-Label Pilot Study of Losmapimod in FSHD1 (NCT04004000)
A Phase 2, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, 48-Week Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Losmapimod in Treating Subjects with FSHD: ReDUX4 (NCT04003974) Interim Analysis
The poster sessions will be available to registered conference attendees. The posters will also be made available in the “Publications” section of fulcrumtx.com.
FSHD is characterized by progressive skeletal muscle loss that initially causes weakness in muscles in the face, shoulders, arms and trunk, and progresses to weakness throughout the lower body. Skeletal muscle weakness results in significant physical limitations, including an inability to smile and difficulty using arms for activities, with many patients ultimately becoming dependent upon the use of a wheelchair for daily mobility.
FSHD is caused by mis-expression of DUX4 in skeletal muscle, resulting in the presence of DUX4 proteins that are toxic to muscle tissue. Normally, DUX4-driven gene expression is limited to early embryonic development, after which time the DUX4 gene is silenced. In people with FSHD, the DUX4 gene is turned “on” as a result of a genetic mutation. The result is death of muscle and its replacement by fat, leading to skeletal muscle weakness and progressive disability. There are no approved therapies for FSHD, one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy, with an estimated patient population of 16,000 to 38,000 in the United States alone.
Losmapimod is a selective p38α/β mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor that was exclusively in-licensed from GSK by Fulcrum Therapeutics following Fulcrum’s discovery of the role of p38α/β inhibitors in the reduction of DUX4 expression and an extensive review of known compounds. Utilizing its internal product engine, Fulcrum discovered that inhibition of p38α/β reduced expression of the DUX4 gene in muscle cells derived from patients with FSHD. Researchers at Fulcrum also believe that losmapimod has the potential to treat COVID-19 by reducing the acute exaggerated pro-inflammatory responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and restoring the antigen-specific immune responses needed for viral clearance, potentially leading to improved clinical outcomes. Losmapimod has been evaluated in more than 3,600 subjects in clinical research across multiple indications, including in several Phase 2 trials and a large Phase 3 trial in acute myocardial infarction. No safety signals were attributed to losmapimod in any of these trials. In 2020, the Company received U.S. and European Orphan Drug Designation for losmapimod for the treatment of FSHD. Fulcrum is currently conducting Phase 2 trials investigating the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of losmapimod to treat the root cause of FSHD and initiating a Phase 3 trial investigating the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of losmapimod to treat hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
About Fulcrum Therapeutics
Fulcrum Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on improving the lives of patients with genetically defined rare diseases in areas of high unmet medical need. Fulcrum’s proprietary product engine identifies drug targets which can modulate gene expression to treat the known root cause of gene mis-expression. The company has advanced losmapimod to Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and is advancing losmapimod to Phase 3 for the treatment of COVID-19. Fulcrum also anticipates the initiation of a clinical trial in the fourth quarter of 2020 with FTX-6058 for the treatment of sickle cell disease.
Please visit www.fulcrumtx.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve substantial risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding the development status of the Company’s product candidates, including the timing of initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial for FTX-6058, and the potential advantages and therapeutic potential of our product candidates. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, contained in this press release, including statements regarding the Company’s strategy, future operations, future financial position, prospects, plans and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Any forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks associated with Fulcrum’s ability to obtain and maintain necessary approvals from the FDA and other regulatory authorities; continue to advance its product candidates in clinical trials; initiate and enroll clinical trials on the timeline expected or at all; correctly estimate the potential patient population and/or market for the Company’s product candidates; replicate in later clinical trials positive results found in preclinical studies and /or earlier-stage clinical trials of losmapimod and its other product candidates; advance the development of its product candidates under the timelines it anticipates in current and future clinical trials; obtain, maintain or protect intellectual property rights related to its product candidates; manage expenses; and raise the substantial additional capital needed to achieve its business objectives. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the “Risk Factors” section, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties and other important factors, in the Company’s most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date hereof. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company’s views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.
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