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Keywords:

  • PTC124;
  • nonsense mutation;
  • genetic disease;
  • phase I clinical trial;
  • pharmacokinetics

Nonsense (premature stop codon) mutations are causative in 5% to 15% of patients with monogenetic inherited disorders. PTC124, a 284-Dalton 1,2,4-oxadiazole, promotes ribosomal readthrough of premature stop codons in mRNA and offers therapeutic potential for multiple genetic diseases. The authors conducted 2 phase I studies of PTC124 in 62 healthy adult volunteers. The initial, single-dose study evaluated doses of 3 to 200 mg/kg and assessed fed-fasting status on pharmacokinetics following a dose of 50 mg/kg. The subsequent multiple-dose study evaluated doses from 10 to 50 mg/kg/dose twice per day (bid) for up to 14 days. PTC124 administered orally as a liquid suspension was palatable and well tolerated through single doses of 100 mg/kg. At 150 and 200 mg/kg, PTC124 induced mild headache, dizziness, and gastrointestinal events. With repeated doses through 50 mg/kg/dose bid, reversible transaminase elevations <2 times the upper limit of normal were sometimes observed. Immunoblot analyses of peripheral blood mononuclear cell extracts revealed no protein elongation due to nonspecific ribosomal readthrough of normal stop codons. PTC124 plasma concentrations exceeding the 2- to 10-μg/mL values associated with activity in preclinical genetic disease models were safely achieved. No sex-related differences in pharmacokinetics were seen. No drug accumulation with repeated dosing was apparent. Diurnal variation was observed, with greater PTC124 exposures after evening doses. PTC124 excretion in the urine was <2%. PTC124 pharmacokinetics were described by a 1-compartment model. Collectively, the data support initiation of phase II studies of PTC124 in patients with nonsense mutation–mediated cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.