We know that, Palovarotene (R-667, RO-3300074) is a highly selective retinoic acid receptor gamma (RAR-γ) agonist that is under investigation as a potential treatment for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), an ultra-rare and severely disabling genetic disease characterized by extra-skeletal bone formation (heterotopic ossification or HO) in muscle and soft tissues.
Palovarotene is being developed by Clementia Pharmaceuticals and was granted Fast Track and orphan drug designations by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of FOP and Orphan Medicinal Product Designation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2014. Phase II clinical studies are currently underway
New research in laboratory animals suggests that the drug palovarotene may prevent multiple skeletal problems caused by a rare but extremely disabling genetic bone disease, and may even be a candidate for use in newborn babies with the condition. Scientists at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who previously repurposed the drug to prevent excess bone formation in animal models of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), have extended that research in animals carrying the exact human disease-causing mutation.
In humans with FOP, an activating mutation in the ACVR1 gene triggers extraskeletal cartilage and bone formation and accumulation starting in early childhood. The extraskeletal bone occurs in muscles and other tissues where it does not belong. This pathological process, collectively called heterotopic ossification (HO), causes progressive loss of skeletal motion and hampers breathing and swallowing.
Currently untreatable and painful, FOP often causes death early in adulthood.
"This work represents a big step toward therapy," said co-study leader, Maurizio Pacifici, Ph.D., a developmental biologist and director of Orthopedic Research in the Division of Orthopedic Surgery at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). "The mice used in this study were engineered to carry the human mutation that causes FOP, and the drug showed powerful and comprehensive benefits for skeletal growth and function in addition to inhibiting HO. If these results translate to humans, we may be able to treat children with FOP early in life, before the disease progresses."
The research appeared online March 12 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
Palovarotene drug may prevent multiple musculoskeletal problems linked with FOP: New research in laboratory animals suggests that the drug palovarotene may prevent multiple skeletal problems caused by a rare but extremely disabling genetic bone disease, and may even be a candidate for use in newborn babies with the condition.