In their official press release published on 21 November 2017, Cytokinetics Inc. announced that they will not be continuing work on tirasemtiv after disappointing results in the latest Phase 3 clinical trial. The trial, known under the acronym ‘VITALITY-ALS’, tested whether the drug has a beneficial effect on the breathing function and muscle strength of people with MND. This is very unfortunate news for everyone affected by the disease, however, Cytokinetics are already testing another compound with the hope that this will be more effective and better tolerated than tirasemtiv.
Tirasemtiv is a drug that aims to improve quality of life of people living with MND by increasing strength of their skeletal muscles (controlling body motion and posture) and therefore postponing muscle fatigue. It compensates for the missing nerve signal from a motor neurone to a muscle that instructs it to contract. Tirasemtiv activates a protein called troponin by increasing its sensitivity to calcium, which is crucial for muscle contraction.Read More »
Unfortunately, although the drug was found to be safe, the results concluded that Tirasemtiv did not meet its primary objective, showing no difference in disease progression, as measured by the ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS) compared to placebo matched controls. Cytokinetics Inc have stated that further study of Tirasemtiv is needed.
Cytokinetics have published a press release of their ‘top line’ results for their drug Tirasemtiv. Unfortunately, the results are disappointing.
The main aim of their most recent clinical trials was to see if there was a slower rate of progression (measured by a widely used MND clinical scale called the ALSFRS) in people with MND taking tirasemtiv compared to those taking the dummy drug. The researchers didn’t find any difference in ALSFRS scores. They’re currently analysing the results for beneficial effects on other symptoms of MND.
Dr Belinda Cupid, Head of Research at the MND Association said: “MND clinical trials give us all new hope that something can be done to slow the progression of the disease, and it’s devastating when those trials don’t show any benefit. It emphasizes why we have to continue to fund research – finding the cause and source of the disease and then working out how to stop it.”