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IDrugs. 2006 Nov;9(11):783-9.

Drug evaluation: PTC-124--a potential treatment of cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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  • 1Saudi German Hospital - Aseer, PO Box 2553, Khamis Mushayt 61961, Saudi Arabia.


PTC-124, a 1,2,4-oxadiazole compound, is in development by PTC Therapeutics Inc as an orally active small molecule that can override nonsense stop translation signals to produce full-length proteins. PTC-124 is currently being evaluated in phase II clinical trials against cystic fibrosis (CF) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The functional properties of PTC-124 are similar to the aminoglycoside antibiotic gentamicin, but the two compounds are chemically distinct and PTC-124 does not exhibit any antibiotic characteristics. In vitro experiments showed PTC-124 to be superior to gentamicin at ribosomal read-through of nonsense mutations. In vivo investigations revealed that PTC-124 was effective in restoring the production of full-length protein in animal models of CF and DMD. Phase I clinical trials reported that PTC-124 was well tolerated in healthy patients. The author concludes that the encouraging results observed to date make PTC-124 an attractive option for further well-designed, long-term human studies on larger sample populations. The author also predicts that if results continue to be positive, PTC-124 could also be trialed in other single gene disorders with nonsense mutations such as hemophilia, neurofibromatosis, retinitis pigmentosa, bullous skin diseases and lysosomal storage disorders.

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