BOSTON, May 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- BERG, LLC, a Boston-based biopharmaceutical company that merges biology with technology to map the nature of diseases, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan-drug designation for the Company's lead product candidate, BPM 31510 (ubidecarenone), for the treatment of patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare, pervasive and debilitating connective tissue disorder for which there is currently no FDA-approved treatment or cure.
"This recognition by the FDA for topical BPM 31510 is a major milestone that will support ongoing clinical development of our EB program," said Niven R. Narain, BERG Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are committed to the advancement of this asset and look forward to assessing how BPM 31510 may be able to make a difference in the lives of the patients and families dealing with such a life-altering diagnosis."
Research indicates that one in every 20,000 children in the U.S. is born with the EB, which is characterized by extremely fragile skin causing painful blisters, debilitating ruptures and wounds that are prone to infection.1 The disease significantly diminishes quality of life for those affected, and often leads to a potentially serious form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma that, in some cases, can be lethal for patients before they reach the age of 30.1
"I am excited and proud to be working in partnership with BERG to help address various sub-types of EB and bring hope to patients and their families in need of new treatment options," said Brett Kopelan, Executive Director of debra of America, the only U.S. nonprofit providing all-inclusive support to the EB community. "The orphan-drug designation is proof that BERG's innovative drug discovery platform is paying dividends in advancing clinical development of a potential treatment that we believe can help improve the quality of life for patients affected by this terrible disease."
In June 2016, an Investigator Sponsored Phase I Study for topical BPM 31510 for the treatment of EB was initiated at the University of Miami Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery. This study is investigating the safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics of BPM 31510 in all patient sub-types of EB.
The FDA's orphan-drug designation program provides orphan status to drugs defined as those intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Orphan-drug designation qualifies the sponsor of the drug for certain development incentives, including tax credits for qualified clinical testing, prescription drug user fee exemption and seven-year marketing exclusivity after FDA marketing approval is received.
This is the second orphan-drug designation granted to BPM 31510 this year. In January, the FDA granted orphan-drug designation to the intravenous formulation of BPM 31510 for the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer, a program that is currently in Phase 2 clinical development.
About BPM 31510 Cancer cells alter metabolism to generate energy from non-mitochondrial pathways to support uncontrolled growth. This allows the cancer cells to escape molecular mechanisms controlling cell death. BPM 31510 is a first in class molecule that specifically targets the dysregulated metabolism observed in cancer. BPM 31510, by targeting metabolism in cancer cells, re-engages the mitochondria to generate energy, shifting metabolism to that observed in the normal cell. The effect of BPM 31510 on metabolism results in the reactivation of pathways that detect cell damage, triggering apoptosis or programmed cell death.
About BERG BERG, LLC, is a clinical-stage company disrupting and re-defining the approach to drug discovery, research and development through its Interrogative Biology® platform. The platform identifies therapies and biomarkers by applying the algorithm and probability-based artificial intelligence to analyze large numbers of patients' genotypic, phenotypic and other characteristics. BERG's platform operates at the intersection of biology, technology and artificial intelligence analytics, integrating many data characteristics regarding patients' lifestyles, demographics, and biology. The platform aids in understanding patients' disease profiles and consequently, identifying and revealing molecular signatures to guide and accelerate product candidate selection and development. By identifying biomarkers and patient characteristics that are unique to the disease state, BERG has the potential to determine novel therapeutic product candidates and develop companion diagnostics to enhance specificity in its drug development process. BERG has leveraged its Interrogative Biology® platform to develop a robust pipeline of therapeutic product candidates and diagnostics in cancer, diabetes and neurology. BERG's Interrogative Biology® platform uses bAIcis® artificial intelligence for data-driven analysis of high throughput molecular and clinical information. It is a methodology in extracting actionable insights from disparate and unmanageably large data sets. As an innovator in precision medicine, BERG has been employing AI in its work towards the discovery of novel predictive and prognostic biomarkers in oncology and neurology.