Cabaletta Bio, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of engineered T cell therapies for patients with B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases, announced on January 29, 2020 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation for the Company’s lead product candidate, DSG3-CAART, for the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris (PV). DSG3-CAART is designed to target the cause of mucosal PV (mPV), B cells that express pathogenic autoantibodies directed against the DSG3 protein, while preserving normal B cell immune function.
“Mucosal pemphigus vulgaris is a rare and potentially fatal, chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the loss of adhesion between cells of mucous membranes, resulting in widespread damage, painful blisters of the mucosal membranes, and increased susceptibility to life-threatening systemic infections,” said David Chang, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Cabaletta. “For affected patients, despite current treatment options, there is an urgent unmet need for more effective and durable therapies that can provide reliable, complete, and persistent remission from the disease beyond general immune suppression and B cell depletion provided by current treatment options. Orphan Drug Designation is an important recognition for investigational therapies for rare diseases and provides us with potentially valuable benefits as we prepare to initiate the DesCAARTes trial to generate and then report acute safety data from the first cohort of patients by the end of 2020.”
The FDA grants Orphan Drug Designation to drugs or biologics intended to treat or prevent rare diseases or conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States. This designation qualifies Cabaletta for certain incentives, which may include partial tax credit for clinical trial expenditures, waived user fees and potential eligibility for seven years of marketing exclusivity.