Anavex Life Sciences Receives Rare Pediatric Disease Designation from FDA for ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine) for the Treatment of Rett Syndrome
NEW YORK – November 14, 2019 – Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (“Anavex” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, today announced that it received the Rare Pediatric Disease (RPD) designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine) for the treatment of Rett syndrome, a rare genetic neurological disorder associated with severe physical and cognitive impairments that afflicts mostly girls.
The RPD designation provides priority review by the FDA to encourage treatments for rare pediatric diseases. Under the RPD program, a sponsor who receives an approval for a drug for a “rare pediatric disease” may qualify for a voucher that can be redeemed to receive a priority review by the FDA of a subsequent marketing application for a different product.
“We are pleased to have received the rare pediatric designation from the U.S. FDA for ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine) for young patients with Rett syndrome,” said Christopher U. Missling, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. “This designation for ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine) underscores the significant unmet medical need for patients with this genetic disease affecting nearly every aspect of the child’s life: their ability to speak, walk, eat and easily breathe. Our goal is to advance a potential treatment for Rett syndrome in order to bring medicines to patients as soon as possible.”
About Rett Syndrome
Rett syndrome is a devastating, non-inherited genetic post-natal progressive neurodevelopmental disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls and leads to severe impairments, affecting nearly every aspect of the child’s life: their ability to speak, walk, eat and easily breathe. The hallmark of Rett syndrome is near constant repetitive hand movements while awake. The disease is characterized by normal early growth and development (6 to 18 months) followed by a slowing of development, loss of purposeful use of the hands, distinctive hand movements, autistic features, slowed brain and head growth, ataxia, seizures and intellectual disability.
Rett syndrome is caused by mutations in the MECP2 gene and strikes all racial and ethnic groups. The disease occurs worldwide in approximately one in every 10,000 to 15,000 live births. There is currently no cure for Rett syndrome.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer. Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine), recently completed a successful Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine) is an orally available drug candidate that restores cellular homeostasis by targeting sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine) also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research previously awarded Anavex a research grant, which fully funded a preclinical study to develop ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. ANAVEX®3-71, which targets sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors, is a promising preclinical drug candidate demonstrating disease-modifying activity against the major hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease in transgenic (3xTg-AD) mice, including cognitive deficits, amyloid and tau pathologies. In preclinical trials, ANAVEX®3-71 has shown beneficial effects on mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation. Further information is available at www.anavex.com. You can also connect with the company on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
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