WASHINGTON, DC, USA I January 23, 2024 I Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Vanda) (Nasdaq: VNDA) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Investigational New Drug (IND) application to evaluate VCA-894A for the treatment of a patient with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, axonal, type 2S (CMT2S), caused by cryptic splice site variants within the IGHMBP2 gene.

CMT2S is a rare subtype of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), an inherited peripheral neuropathy for which there is no available treatment. CMT2S is characterized by slowly progressive distal muscle weakness and atrophy, affecting the upper and lower limbs in a child’s first decade of life, leaving patients with decreased reflexes and sensory impairment1,2 The estimated overall prevalence of CMT is 1 in 2,500 individuals, with varying clinical features dependent on the various genetic variants of CMT.1,2 The prevalence of the CMT2S variant is estimated to be less than 1 in 1,000,000 worldwide.3

“This is an important milestone in the pursuit of personalized medicine, which has the potential to enable the development of treatments tailored to one’s genetic variants, in this case specifically for a patient with CMT2S causing genetic mutations,” said Mihael H. Polymeropoulos, M.D., Vanda’s President, CEO and Chairman of the Board.

VCA-894A is a novel antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) with a mechanism of action that specifically targets a cryptic splice site variant within immunoglobulin mu-binding protein 2 (IGHMBP2). Mutations within IGHMBP2 play a pivotal role in the manifestation of CMT2S, likely due to alpha-motor neuron loss, and consequently peripheral nervous system deterioration.4 ASOs have the capacity to modulate gene expression, allowing for the personalized treatment of rare diseases. Delivery of ASOs to the central nervous system has been previously successful in several ASO programs, with a broad applicability in addressing a number of neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders.5 


  1. Cottenie, E., et al. (2014). Truncating and missense mutations in IGHMBP2 cause Charcot-Marie Tooth disease type 2. American journal of human genetics, 95(5), 590–601. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.10.002  
  2. Nam, S. H., & Choi, B-O. (2019). Clinical and genetic aspects of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease subtypes.” Precision and Future Medicine, 3(2), 43–68. https://doi.org/10.23838/pfm.2018.00163 
  3. (2023). Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2S. Orpha.net. https://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?lng=EN&Expert=443073  
  4. Rzepnikowska, W., & Kochański, A. (2021). Models for IGHMBP2-associated diseases: an overview and a roadmap for the future. Neuromuscular disorders: NMD, 31(12), 1266–1278. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2021.08.001  
  5. Crooke, S. T., Liang, X. H., Baker, B. F., & Crooke, R. M. (2021). Antisense technology: A review. The Journal of biological chemistry, 296, 100416. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100416

About Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Vanda is a leading global biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies to address high unmet medical needs and improve the lives of patients. For more on Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc., please visit www.vandapharma.com and follow us on Twitter @vandapharma.

About VCA-894A

VCA-894A is a 2′-O-methoxyethyl (MOE) phosphorothioate oligonucleotide sodium salt. VCA-894A specifically targets a cryptic splice site variant within IGHMBP2, which causes CMT2S. ASOs may have broad applicability in addressing a number of disorders, from nervous system treatments to systemic treatments.

SOURCE: Vanda Pharmaceuticals