Scientists Seeking Patient Input: Gene Therapy to Treat Inherited Cardiomyopathies

A group of scientists working on gene therapy for inherited cardiomyopathies are seeking input from patients about their interest and willingness to participate in gene therapy trials. These researchers hope that treatment with gene therapy will ultimately prove to be a cure for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as well as other genetic cardiomyopathies.

If you are interested in learning more about gene therapy and are willing to answer a few questions about your willingness to participate in this type of research, watch this video.  Then, fill out this short questionnaire.  It just takes a few minutes and you may help to find a cure for HCM.

Targeted Gene Therapy for HCM

The expanding field of personalized medicine has not left hypertrophic cardiomyopathy behind. In fact, two companies are currently developing targeted gene therapies for HCM patients. Each therapy targets a separate and distinct HCM gene mutation.

Tenaya Therapeutics, located in the San Francisco area, is developing a therapy called TN-201 which is directed at mutations in the Myosin Binding Protein C3 (MYBPC3) gene. The therapy has shown favorable results in mice.  In May of this year, Tenaya received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S Food and Drug Administration. An Orphan Drug Designation confers certain tax and economic incentives on companies developing a treatment for rare conditions.

Meanwhile, this week, Lexeo Therapeutics acquired Stelios Therapeutics, a San Diego based company developing a therapy for HCM patients with a mutation in the TNNI3 gene. These TNNI3 patients comprise somewhere between 5% and 7% of all patients with HCM, or approximately 30,000 people.  The underpinnings of this research come from the University of California, San Diego.

HCMBeat will continue following these developments. It is a busy and exciting time in the treatment of HCM!

Drug Trial for Non-Obstructive HCM

Yet another company is developing a new drug for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and this time, the drug is intended for non-obstructive HCM patients.  The company is Imbria Pharmaceuticals, and this week they announced the randomizing of the first patient in their Phase 2 study of the drug IMB-101 in patients with non-obstructive HCM.  The study, called IMPROVE-HCM, is a Phase 2 study that will look at the safety and tolerability of this drug in non-obstructed HCM patients. IMB-101 is designed to increase the efficiency of the heart’s use of energy which will be measured through cardiopulmonary exercise testing over a 12 week period.

You can read this press release and you can read more about the trial on ClinicalTrials.gov here.

Cytokinetics Announces Positive Results from REDWOOD-HCM Phase 2 Clinical Trial

Cytokinetics today announced positive topline results for its experimental drug CK-274 from its recent Phase 2 REDWOOD-HCM trial for patients who have obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HOCM).

According to the press release, this drug, a next-in-class cardiac myosin inhibitor, showed consistent and meaningful reduction in left ventricular outflow tract gradients in HOCM with its effects evident within 2 weeks of starting the drug. The benefits continued until the end of treatment 10 weeks later. No patients had to  discontinue the drug or take a break from treatment due to reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. And, the drug was well tolerated and appeared to be free from significant side effects.

Cytokinetics plans to commence a Stage 3 for CK-274 trial by the end of 2021. Full results of the Stage 2 REDWOOD study will be presented at an upcoming scientific meeting.

Can Cardiac MRI Predict AFib in HCM Patients?

In a recent study, researchers examined whether cardiac MRI results might help predict which patients would would go on to develop atrial fibrillation (AFib) that was serious enough to require hospitalization, require electrical cardioversion or catheter ablation, or identify those patients who might go on to develop permanent AFib.

The study found that the major predictors of these serious AFib consequences in HCM were those who were of older age, those with an increased BMI (this was especially important in patients under age 33), increased left atrial volume index as seen on cardiac MRI (this was especially important in middle-aged patients), reduced left atrial contractile function (this was especially important in middle-age and older patients), and moderate or severe mitral valve regurgitation. 

The researchers concluded that using cardiac MRI to measure left atrial volume and contractile function might help medical providers ability to intervene before major AFib develops in HCM patients, specifically by helping patients find ways to reduce their weight and by treating mitral regurgitation and left atrial function more aggressively.

The full paper can be found here and for a summary from Cardiac Rhythm News click here.

 

Can This Formula Predict AFib in HCM Patients?

HCM specialists at Tufts Medical Center and Toronto General Hospital have devised a formula which they hope will help predict which HCM patients may go on to develop atrial fibrillation (“AFib”) over time. This tool can assist doctors in determining which patients are at highest risk so that these patients can be closely monitored and treated appropriately. AFib can be extremely dangerous for HCM patients since it can precipitate a stroke if not appropriately treated.   

Because existing tools to predict atrial fibrillation have not proven to be accurate for HCM patients, the researchers studied 1900 HCM patients with the goal of devising a new tool to help HCM patients and their physicians learn their personal risk for AFib over a 2 and 5 year period.

Continue reading “Can This Formula Predict AFib in HCM Patients?”

Positive Myectomy Outcomes for Patients 65+

According to a recent retrospective study at Oregon Health & Sciences University, appropriately selected patients 65 or older who underwent septal myectomy for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HOCM) have surgical outcomes similar to younger patients. Therefore, older age should NOT be an automatic disqualifier for myectomy. All potential treatments for outflow tract obstruction should be considered, with age being only one of many factors influencing the decision.  

Mavacamten: A Plain Language Summary of EXPLORER – HCM

I was recently asked by the good people at MyoKardia, now a subsidiary of Bristol Myers Squibb, if I would author a plain language summary of an article to be published in the journal Future Cardiology.  This article summarizes the results of the EXPLORER-HCM trial, which showed that mavacamten, a new type of drug known as a “myosin modulator,” was successful in reducing HCM symptoms in subset of patients who took the drug during the clinical trial. 

I was so fortunate to have Dr. Anjali Owens of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Inherited Cardiac Disease join me as co-author on the article.  I also want to thank the teams at Bristol Myers Squibb and Cello Health Communications/SciFluent who supported us on this project.  And, I so grateful to the former MyoKardia team and the other members of the EXPLORER-HCM Steering Committee who gave me the opportunity to witness a groundbreaking clinical trial from the front row.

This is the article.  When you access the page, click to view the very informative short video, located in the upper right corner of the page, which explains how the drug works in very brief and concise terms.

Check it out!

Cynthia Burstein Waldman, Founder and Editor, HCMBeat

 

More Positive Data on Mavacamten Presented at ACC Meeting

More positive data about the Bristol Myers Squibb experimental drug mavacamten was revealed at last weekend’s American College of Cardiology meeting and simultaneously published in The Lancet.

The data showed improvement in how patients felt taking the drug, as reported and quantified by the patients themselves. The clinical trial participants filled out a questionnaire called the KCCQ, or Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire, 6 different times over the 38 weeks that the trial was ongoing.

Continue reading “More Positive Data on Mavacamten Presented at ACC Meeting”

100,000 Views!!!!

Today, HCMBeat.com surpassed 100,000 views!

 

Big thanks to everyone who has supported HCMBeat over the last 5 years, especially all of the doctors and researchers who spend their days working to improve the lives of patients with HCM.

 

I hope that this blog will continue to inform the HCM community about the latest news and information related to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy . 

 

The last few years have been exciting for HCM patients and the future looks even brighter!

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

 

Cynthia

 

Cynthia Burstein Waldman, HCM Patient, Founder and Editor, HCMBeat.com