Cytokinetics (CYTK) Reports Data Error in BENEFIT-ALS

July 8, 2013 7:35 AM EDT Send to a Friend
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Cytokinetics, Incorporated (Nasdaq: CYTK) announced an update on the conduct of BENEFIT-ALS (Blinded Evaluation of Neuromuscular Effects and Functional Improvement with Tirasemtiv in ALS). BENEFIT-ALS is a Phase IIb, multinational, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability and potential efficacy of tirasemtiv, a fast skeletal muscle troponin activator, in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

BENEFIT-ALS is currently designed to enroll up to 500 patients with ALS. To date, over 450 patients have been enrolled in this study. The primary analysis of BENEFIT-ALS will compare the mean change from baseline in the ALS Functional Rating Scale in its revised form, or ALSFRS-R (a clinically validated instrument designed to measure disease progression and changes in functional status), in patients receiving tirasemtiv versus those receiving placebo.

Cytokinetics was recently informed by its data management vendor that a programming error in the electronic data capture system controlling study drug assignment caused 58 patients initially randomized to and treated with tirasemtiv to receive placebo instead at a certain study visit and for the remainder of the study. No patients randomized to placebo were dispensed incorrect treatment. Cytokinetics and all clinical trial site personnel remain blinded to the specific patients affected by the error.

Since the error was detected, the company has taken steps to ensure that no further incorrect study drug assignments have occurred and the programming error in the electronic data capture system controlling study drug assignment has been corrected. In addition, the company recently convened an ad hoc meeting of the study’s Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) to assess whether the error in dispensing study drug had impacted the safety of the 58 affected patients. After review of the relevant safety data from BENEFIT-ALS, the DSMB reported no concerns regarding patient safety.

Cytokinetics is in communication with regulatory authorities regarding how best to respond to the error in drug assignment in order to preserve the intended scientific value of BENEFIT-ALS. The company continues to enroll patients in the study under the current protocol and may amend the protocol to allow increased enrollment. Following further communications with regulatory authorities, Cytokinetics expects to provide updated guidance relating to the conduct of BENEFIT-ALS, which may include revisions to the timing of publicly available results from the study as well as to the projected costs of the study.


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