Many of us have been patiently awaiting the published report on the recently concluded Kennedy’s Disease BVS857 trial at NIH. Two of the attendees provided the following information on the trial. Once the actual paper is published, I’ll provide a link to it
Dr. Kenneth Fischbeck of the NIH gave a report on this trial at the KDA Conference in San Diego last week. He stated that while there were some modest positive results it did not meet expectations. In part that may have been because they only conducted the trial for 12 weeks and the nature of the drug and its effect would suggest slowly increasing benefits over an extended time frame.
The compound was intended to improve insulin sensitivity in people with KD and boost the anabolic effects of insulin and IGF1. Unfortunately, it also stimulated an immune response in some patients taking it producing anti-bodies that not only attacked the drug but also attacked the person's own insulin or IGF1. Fortunately for those affected after discontinuing the drug the immune response faded. Novartis aborted their trial plans and terminated further investigation of the compound.
The following is a quote from Dr. Fischbeck. “We too are disappointed that the Novartis agent was not more effective, but we are optimistic that the results from this trial will help in developing a treatment that really works for Kennedy’s disease. The study gave us information about muscle imaging and clinical outcome measures that will improve the design of future trials, and it helped to set up a network of trial sites that will allow clinical studies to be done more efficiently. Also, it gave an indication in the effect on muscle size that other drugs targeting the same pathway might be effective.”