WATERTOWN, MA, USA I February 16, 2023 I Disc Medicine, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel treatments for patients suffering from serious hematologic diseases, announced today the initiation of a Phase 1b/2 clinical study of DISC-0974 in non-dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease (NDD-CKD) patients with anemia. DISC-0974 is a monoclonal antibody designed to suppress hepcidin by inhibiting the hemojuvelin (HJV) co-receptor, and thereby address anemia by enhancing the availability of iron for erythropoiesis. DISC-0974 is also currently being studied in a Phase 1b/2 clinical study in patients with myelofibrosis and anemia.

“We are excited to initiate this clinical trial of DISC-0974 in chronic kidney disease, where hepcidin plays a key role in the pathophysiology of anemia. There is a tremendous need for innovative therapies that work through mechanisms outside of the erythropoietin pathway,” said John Quisel, JD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer at Disc Medicine. “We believe DISC-0974 has potential across a broad range of chronic and inflammatory diseases. With the start of this study, we now have ongoing clinical trials for DISC-0974 in both chronic kidney disease and myelofibrosis, and plan to explore its use in other indications as well.”

The study will be a multi-center, Phase 1b/2 trial and will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of DISC-0974 in NDD-CKD patients with anemia. The study endpoints will include hepcidin levels, serum iron and markers of iron mobilization and changes in hemoglobin. The study enrollment criteria will include patients with Stage II-V CKD not receiving dialysis, baseline Hb < 11.0 g/dL for males and Hb < 10.5 g/dL for females, and those not receiving concurrent treatment with erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs). The study will be conducted in two parts:

  • Phase 1b (Dose-Escalation): Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study design; single, ascending doses of DISC-0974 will be administered subcutaneously at the following planned dose levels: 28 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 90 mg; safety, PK and hematologic effects will be assessed at each dose level; a dose for the expansion phase will be selected based on optimal increases in hemoglobin;
  • Phase 2 (Expansion Stage): Open-label, single-arm study design; multiple doses of DISC-0974 administered subcutaneously, once-monthly at the dose level selected from the phase 1b portion of the study for three months.

About DISC-0974

DISC-0974 is an investigational monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting a BMP-signaling co-receptor called hemojuvelin (HJV) and is designed to suppress hepcidin production and increase serum iron levels in patients suffering from anemia of inflammation. DISC-0974 was in-licensed by Disc from AbbVie in 2019. Anemia of inflammation arises from abnormally elevated hepcidin and is the most common form of anemia, affecting millions of patients in the US across numerous diseases such as chronic kidney disease, myelofibrosis, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and other conditions with an inflammatory component. Disc has established clinical proof-of-mechanism of DISC-0974 in a Phase 1 trial of healthy volunteers and initiated a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial of DISC-0974 in patients with myelofibrosis and anemia, as well as a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial of DISC-0974 in patients with chronic kidney disease and anemia who are not receiving dialysis.

DISC-0974 is an investigational agent and is not approved for use as a therapy in any jurisdiction worldwide.

About Anemia of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global, widespread disease characterized by progressive loss of kidney function and may lead to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or kidney failure. CKD affects over 37 million patients in the United States and an estimated 700 million patients worldwide. Anemia is a serious and frequent complication of CKD, as patients are unable to produce sufficient red blood cells and hemoglobin. It affects approximately 5-6 million patients in the U.S. alone, may results in fatigue, shortness of breath, and reduced physical and cognitive function, and can be associated with a higher risk of mortality, hospitalization and other complications. Elevated hepcidin is a primary cause of anemia in CKD patients and prevents erythropoiesis by depriving developing red blood cells of iron. Hepcidin accumulates at high levels in CKD patients because its production is stimulated by inflammation and its clearance is reduced as a consequence of impaired renal function. The majority of CKD patients do not receive any treatment for their anemia due to the complexity of outpatient administration and potential safety concerns related to the current treatments. In severe cases, patients may receive blood transfusions, but use may lead to increased administrative burden, safety risks and the potential for immune sensitization which precludes eligibility for kidney transplantation.

About Disc Medicine

Disc Medicine (NASDAQ:IRON) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing, and commercializing novel treatments for patients who suffer from serious hematologic diseases. We are building a portfolio of innovative, first-in-class therapeutic candidates that aim to address a wide spectrum of hematologic diseases by targeting fundamental biological pathways of red blood cell biology, specifically heme biosynthesis and iron homeostasis. For more information, please visit www.discmedicine.com.

SOURCE: Disc Medicine