FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation for Galderma’s Trifarotene Molecule in the Treatment of Congenital Ichthyosis
Galderma announced that the FDA granted Orphan Drug Designation status for the company’s trifarotene molecule for the treatment of congenital ichthyosis. Based on this decision, Galderma plans to implement a clinical development plan, reinforcing its commitment to exploring new treatment options for rare diseases, as well as meeting the needs of all patients with skin diseases over the course of their lives.
“Given the burden of congenital ichthyosis and the lack of effective and easy-to-use treatments, this is a condition which is very difficult to live with. Galderma’s objective is therefore not only to provide an efficient and safe medical solution to alleviate the symptoms of the disease, but also to improve patients’ quality of life”, says Humberto C. Antunes, Galderma President & CEO.
The company’s molecule trifarotene is a selective agonist of the gamma retinoic acid receptor (RARγ), which is currently in clinical development for use in other more common dermatological conditions. It is the drug’s retinoid functionality and potent keratolytic properties that make it a potentially viable treatment of the lamellar ichthyosis pathology. Galderma has already initiated the program for investigating the treatment of lamellar ichthyosis with trifarotene and is currently working in collaboration with regulatory authorities to implement an innovative and expedient clinical development plan.
Ichthyoses comprise a large group of skin scaling disorders with diverse etiologies. The stereotypic pathophysiology is epidermal hyperplasia and abnormal desquamation, leading to visible accumulation of squames (scales) on the skin’s surface. Congenital ichthyosis is a term used to refer to a specific group of rare inherited forms of ichthyoses that are generally more severe than non-inherited forms of the disease. Lamellar ichthyosis is one such disorder that falls within the congenital ichthyosis category. Lamellar ichthyosis is recognised as a severe disease which persists throughout life. After birth, during the first post-natal weeks, the hyperkeratotic (colloidion) membrane patients are typically born with, is gradually shed and is replaced by scaling and lichenification that involves the entire body, including face, scalp, palms and soles.. While usually not life threatening, lamellar ichthyosis can result in disability, partial deafness, poor adaptation to environmental conditions (due to hypohydrosis), severe discomfort (pruritus, fissuring of the skin), and significant psycho-social impact. The estimated prevalence of LI in the US is in the range of 1 per 100,000 to 1 per 200,000 persons.
The Orphan Drug Designation provides orphan status to drugs and biologics which are defined as those intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases/disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S., or that affect more than 200,000 persons but are not expected to recover the costs of developing and marketing a treatment drug.
In addition to studying treatments for lamellar ichthyosis and other congenital ichthyoses, Galderma is also exploring the treatment of other rare skin diseases such as Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma and Gorlin Syndrome.