NMD Pharma Initiates an Observational Pilot Study Investigating the Effects of Sarcopenia on Neuromuscular Transmission in Older Adults
Aarhus, Denmark, 1 June 2021 – NMD Pharma A/S, a biotech company developing novel therapeutics for neuromuscular disorders, today announces that it has initiated a pilot observational study to assess whether sarcopenia, a condition characterized by age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, is associated with neuromuscular junction (NMJ) transmission deficits in older adults.
The US study will be led by Professor Brian Clark, PhD of Ohio University and Professor William David Arnold, MD, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and will involve 16 subjects: eight older sarcopenic individuals over the age of 70 and eight healthy young and middle aged individuals between the ages of 18 and 50. Subjects will undergo electrophysiological testing (repetitive nerve stimulation and single fibre electromyography (EMG) analyses) and different assessments of muscle mass (magnetic resonance imaging) and function (involving tests of muscle strength, power, fatigability, and balance).
NMD Pharma is developing first-in-class small molecule inhibitors of the muscle specific chloride ion channel, the ClC-1 ion channel and has already demonstrated that ClC-1 inhibition can strengthen neuromuscular transmission and ultimately skeletal muscle function. This study is intended to establish whether NMJ transmission deficits occur in sarcopenic individuals, and to investigate whether these deficits correlate with reduced physical performance. This data will be used to inform potential future clinical trials of one of NMD Pharma’s ClC-1 inhibitors for the treatment of mobility limitations in sarcopenic individuals.
Thomas Holm Pedersen, Chief Executive Officer of NMD Pharma, said: “This is the first clinical study that NMD Pharma has coordinated in older adults with sarcopenia. The investigators leading the study have already demonstrated NMJ transmission deficits are present in aged mice but whether this translates in older human individuals is yet unknown. We are grateful to the world-leading clinical teams in Ohio, and their prospective study participants, for making this study possible.”
Professor Brian Clark, PhD, from Ohio University commented: “The exact causes of sarcopenia are still unknown but factors affecting the strength of muscle contraction independent of mass, such as NMJ transmission, are increasingly suspected as contributors to the development of age-related physical disability. This study will seek to assess that hypothesis and provide data which could lead to much needed clinical trials of this particular condition in the future.”
Professor William David Arnold, MD, from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center added: “Sarcopenia is a common condition in older adults that contributes to functional decline, disability, frailty and falls and is one of the most important reasons for loss of independence in older adults. There is a need to raise awareness of this condition in order to aid earlier detection and treatment and, as such, it is vital that research in this area continues. We are pleased to discover more about this condition through this pilot study.”
NMD Pharma’s lead candidate, NMD670, is currently being evaluated in a combined Phase I/IIa trial to treat the symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis (MG) which is taking place at the Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR) in Leiden, the Netherlands.
Individuals in the Ohio area in the US who are interested in learning more about participating in the sarcopenia study should contact Brian Clark at [email protected] or 740-593-2354.
NMD Pharma A/S
Thomas Holm Pedersen, CEO
E-mail: [email protected]
Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott / Ashley Tapp / Lindsey Neville
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700
About NMD Pharma
NMD Pharma A/S, is a private biotech company leading in the development of novel first-in-class therapies for severe neuromuscular disorders. The Company was incorporated as a spin-off from Aarhus University, Denmark in 2015 and was founded on more than 15 years of muscle physiology research with a focus on regulation of skeletal muscle excitability under physical activity. NMD Pharma has built a world-leading muscle electrophysiology platform leveraging the in-depth know-how of muscle physiology and muscular disorders, small molecule modulators, enabling technologies and tools as well as in-vivo pharmacology models for discovering and developing proprietary modulators of neuromuscular function. NMD Pharma received seed financing from Novo Seeds, Lundbeckfonden Emerge and Capnova in 2016, and in 2018 raised a €38 million Series A financing, led by new investor INKEF Capital, together with new investor Roche Venture Fund and existing investors Novo Seeds and Lundbeckfonden Emerge. Find out more about us online at http://www.nmdpharma.com/.
About The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
One of the nation’s leading academic health centers, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center offers health care services in virtually every specialty and subspecialty in medicine. Thousands of patients come to us each month for treatments and services they can’t find anywhere else. Providing access to health care information is central to our research, education and patient care mission. At Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, we’re dedicated to improving health in Ohio and across the world through innovation in research, education and patient care. Find out more about us online at www.wexnermedical.osu.edu
About Ohio University
Ohio University strives to be the best student-centered, transformative learning community in America, where students realize their promise, faculty advance knowledge, staff achieve excellence, and alumni become global leaders. OHIO is committed to fostering, embracing, and celebrating diversity in all its forms. Our Athens Campus offers students a residential learning experience in one of the nation’s most picturesque academic settings. Additional campuses and centers serve students across the state, and online programs further advance the University’s commitment to providing educational access and opportunity. Visit www.ohio.edu for more information. Ohio University is a research-intensive institution with a record of advancing knowledge through discovery and innovation in the natural and biomedical sciences, humanities and arts, and engineering.
Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength and it is strictly correlated with physical disability, poor quality of life and death. Risk factors for sarcopenia include age, gender and level of physical activity although the exact causes of the disease are unknown at present. On average, it is estimated that 5–13% of elderly people aged 60–70 years are affected by sarcopenia1.