DOI: 10.1182/blood-2023-178033 ISSN: 0006-4971

A Phase 1b Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of DISC-0974, an Anti-Hemojuvelin Antibody, in Patients with Non-Dialysis Dependent Chronic Kidney Disease and Anemia

Samir Arora, Jorge Monroy, Pablo Pergola, Arnold Silva, Akshay Buch, Natasha Novikov, Olivia Pelletier, William Savage
  • Cell Biology
  • Hematology
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry

Hepcidin, a central regulator of iron homeostasis, is pathologically elevated in patients with non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease (NDD-CKD) and anemia. Elevations in hepcidin contribute to the onset, maintenance, and severity of anemia. DISC-0974 is an investigational, first-in-class, monoclonal antibody that blocks hemojuvelin (HJV), a co-receptor in the bone morphogenetic protein-signaling pathway regulating hepcidin expression.

In a healthy volunteer study, DISC-0974 demonstrated dose-dependent reductions in serum hepcidin, increases in serum iron with doses up to 56 mg administered subcutaneously (SC), and increasing trends in reticulocyte count, reticulocyte hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, total hemoglobin (Hgb), and red blood cell count. In a rat model of anemia in CKD, DISC-0974 decreased hepcidin, increased serum iron, and normalized hemoglobin (Wu et al., ASH 2022).

DISC-0974-103 is a Phase 1b, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single-ascending dose study (NCT05745883) to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), and pharmacodynamics (PD) of DISC-0974 in patients with NDD-CKD and anemia. Eligible participants include patients over 18 years of age with NDD-CKD, stages 2-5, hemoglobin (Hgb) <10.5 g/dL in women and <11.0 g/dL in men, serum ferritin ≥100 μg/L, and transferrin saturation (TSAT) ≤30%. Major exclusionary criteria include: concomitant treatment with therapeutic oral iron, intravenous iron, erythropoietin-stimulating agents, or blood transfusions; splenectomy; and nutritional, genetic, infectious, or autoimmune causes of anemia. Approximately 32 participants will be enrolled.

On Day 1, participants will receive a single dose of DISC-0974 SC with evaluations for safety, PK, and PD through 57 days of follow-up. Dose escalation is planned across 4 cohorts consisting of 8 participants each, randomized 3:1 active treatment to placebo, treated at single doses of 28, 40, 60, and 90 mg SC DISC-0974. Safety Review Committee assessments are planned to gate escalation decisions.

Primary endpoints include adverse events (AEs), clinical laboratory assessments, vital signs, physical examinations, and electrocardiograms. Secondary endpoints include changes in serum hepcidin-25, iron, TSAT, ferritin, Hgb, and other hematology biomarkers.

Enrollment is currently ongoing, and available study results will be presented at the meeting.

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