Wakefield, Mass., October 10, 2023 – Myrtelle Inc. (“Myrtelle” or the “Company”), a gene therapy company focused on developing transformative treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that updated positive data from the one-year readout in the Company’s open-label Phase 1/2 First-in-Human (FIH) clinical trial for Canavan disease (CD) using the Company’s recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vector-based investigational gene therapy will be presented by Mark Hurtt, M.D., Acting Chief Medical Officer, in a talk entitled “MYR-101 Gene Therapy for Canavan Disease – Preliminary One-Year Results” on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, at the upcoming Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa in Carlsbad, CA.
Myrtelle’s FIH trial utilizes the Company’s proprietary rAAV vector to directly target oligodendrocytes, the brain cells affected in CD that are responsible for producing myelin – the insulating material that enables proper neuronal function. In CD, normal brain development is impaired due to a mutation in the ASPA gene that encodes the enzyme aspartoacylase. The lack of normal aspartoacylase activity negatively impacts myelin production and brain development. The Company’s unique oligodendrocyte-targeting rAAV vector is the only gene therapy approach known to us directed at restoring ASPA function and brain development specifically in these target cells in patients with CD.
The presentation will review encouraging post-treatment improvements through the primary analysis timepoint of one year in the Phase 1/2 clinical study for multiple functional and anatomic measurements, including clinical improvements in motor and cognitive function using validated scales. Following gene therapy, statistically significant gains in certain target white matter and myelin were observed. In turn, improvements in multiple domains on the validated Gross Motor Function Measure and Mullen Scales of Early Learning were demonstrated. Improvements generally continued to progress from the 6-month timepoint to the 12-month readout. Treated patients were routinely observed to outperform untreated age-matched natural history patients on the Mullen Scale of Early Learning.
“Results obtained to date are encouraging and continue to reinforce the hypothesis that addressing the ASPA genetic deficit specifically in oligodendrocytes in patients with Canavan disease can potentially restore oligodendrocyte health and myelination and support functional improvements,” said Dr. Hurtt. “We look forward to sharing details at the upcoming presentation and to discussing further development with global regulatory authorities in support of potential approvals.”
Organized by the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, the Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa is a three-day conference featuring more than 120 dedicated company presentations by leading public and private companies, highlighting technical and clinical achievements over the past 12 months in the areas of cell therapy, gene therapy, gene editing, tissue engineering, and broader regenerative medicine technologies, as well as over 100 panelists and featured speakers.
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 9:45 am
Location: Ecolab Life Sciences Ballroom – Park Hyatt Aviara Resort 7100 Resort Dr., Carlsbad, CA
Myrtelle Inc. is a gene therapy company focused on developing transformative treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. The company has a proprietary platform, intellectual property, and portfolio of programs and technologies supporting innovative gene therapy approaches for neurodegenerative diseases. Myrtelle has an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Pfizer Inc. for its Canavan disease program. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at: www.myrtellegtx.com.
ABOUT CANAVAN DISEASE
Canavan disease (CD) is a fatal childhood genetic brain disease caused by mutations in the ASPA gene (ASPA) which prevent the normal expression of aspartoacylase, a critical enzyme produced in oligodendrocytes. The lack of normal aspartoacylase expression negatively impacts brain development, including myelin production. Patients with CD are impacted at birth but may appear normal until several months old when symptoms begin to develop. Poor head control, abnormally large head size, difficulty in eye tracking, excessive irritability, severely diminished muscle tone, and delays in reaching motor milestones, such as rolling, sitting, and walking, are the typical initial manifestations of CD. As the disease progresses, seizures, spasticity, difficulties in swallowing, and overall muscle deterioration emerge with most affected children developing life-threatening complications by approximately 10 years of age. Currently, there are no cures for CD, and only palliative treatments are available.
More information on Myrtelle’s clinical trial in Canavan disease can be found on https://clinicaltrials.gov/ under the identifier NCT04833907 or by emailing PatientAdvocacy@MyrtelleGTX.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Words such as “may,” “believe,” “will,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions, or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and include statements regarding results obtained to date continuing to reinforce the hypothesis that addressing the ASPA genetic deficit specifically in oligodendrocytes in patients with Canavan disease can potentially restore oligodendrocyte health and myelination and support functional improvements and potential regulatory approvals. While Myrtelle believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict, that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations and assumptions from those set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among others, Myrtelle’s program demonstrating safety and efficacy, as well as future results that are consistent with prior results, the ability to generate the data needed for further development of this novel gene therapy in the patients with CD, and the ability to continue its clinical trials and to complete them on time and achieve the desired results. All forward-looking statements are based on Myrtelle’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, Myrtelle expressly disclaims any responsibility to update any forward-looking statement contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.