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Edison Pharmaceuticals to Provide Expanded Access to EPI-743 for Mitochondrial Disease
Date:6/8/2011

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— Clinicaltrials.gov

EPI-743

EPI-743 is an orally absorbed small molecule that readily crosses into the central nervous system. It works by targeting an enzyme NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1). Its mode of action is to synchronize energy generation in mitochondria with the need to counter cellular redox stress(1). EPI-743 is in phase 2B/3 pivotal clinical trials.

About Inherited Mitochondrial Disease

Inherited mitochondrial diseases are genetic disorders that share as a common link defects in how cells make and regulate energy. They can arise through defects in genes located in the nucleus or mitochondria. An estimated 2,000 defects in nuclear DNA and 200 defects in mitochondrial DNA have been identified that are pathogenic(2).

Inherited mitochondrial diseases are clinically diverse and poorly understood. They can affect virtually any organ system in the body. As the brain and muscle tissue use an extraordinary amount of energy, they are dramatically affected by these disorders. Mitochondrial diseases often present with central nervous system manifestations, but they also result in a variety of other significant clinical signs that include diabetes, heart failure, liver failure, deafness, blindness, renal insufficiency, and muscle weakness and fatigue.

The incidence of mitochondrial disease is estimated at 1-5 in 10,000. However, this number may underestimate the true number of people with mitochondrial disease. While new genetic screening tools have made detection of mitochondrial disease possible, the majority of individuals with a clinical diagnosis of mitochondrial disease may not have a confirmatory genetic diagnosis. Some estimates place the number of clinically diagnosed mitochondrial disease patients without a genetic diagnosis– so called mitochondrial syndromes– at 10 times the incidence of genetically defined disease.

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