Santhera announces the launch of a U.S. Expanded Access Program (EAP) referred to as BreatheDMD with idebenone for patients with DMD.

Through the BreatheDMD program, eligible patients in the U.S. with DMD who are 10 years and older and in respiratory function decline, can obtain access to investigational idebenone, at no cost, through a growing network of research centers across the U.S.

EAPs such as BreatheDMD are permitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Such programs allow eligible patients with serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions, where there is a lack of satisfactory therapeutic alternatives, to gain access to a medicine under investigation before it is approved by regulatory authorities.

Details regarding this EAP, including eligibility requirements, can be obtained by visiting the website www.breatheDMD.com.

Idebenone is a medicine that is under investigation for the treatment of DMD. It has not yet been approved by the U.S. FDA and the safety and efficacy continue to be evaluated in clinical trials.

“I commend Santhera for developing the BreatheDMD program, allowing eligible patients to access idebenone, an investigational medicine that has shown the ability to slow respiratory function decline in a completed Phase III (DELOS) trial. We desperately need alternative treatment options for patients with DMD that target the respiratory decline component of the disease,” said Oscar H. Mayer, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist focused on treating neuromuscular diseases.

“Several patient advocacy organizations in the U.S., including Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), Jett Foundation, CureDuchenne and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) have consistently mentioned that patients need access to additional treatment options, especially older patients in respiratory decline, and that these patients cannot afford to continue to wait. To help address this important unmet need, Santhera is proud to be launching this EAP, allowing eligible patients to obtain access to investigational idebenone,” said Thomas Meier, PhD, CEO of Santhera.

BreatheDMD follows shortly after Santhera has launched its educational website, www.TakeABreathDMD.com, where patients and families residing in the U.S. can find practical, in-depth information in one centralized location to help manage respiratory complications, including information about breathing, coughing and pulmonary care.

About Idebenone in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Idebenone is a synthetic short-chain benzoquinone and a cofactor for the enzyme NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1) capable of stimulating mitochondrial electron transport, reducing and scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and supplementing cellular energy levels. DELOS was a phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled 52-week study which randomized 64 patients, not taking concomitant steroids, to receive either idebenone (900 mg/day) or matching placebo. The study met its primary endpoint, the change from baseline in Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF), which demonstrated that idebenone can slow the loss of respiratory function.