ProQR Therapeutics NV has received Fast Track designation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its molecule QR-010 that is in clinical development for the treatment of patients with CF due to the ?F508 mutation.

Fast Track designation is granted by FDA to drugs that are under development for serious conditions and have the potential to fulfill an unmet medical need. It was established with the intention to bring promising drugs to patients sooner by facilitating the development with more frequent FDA interactions and expediting the review process.

“We are very pleased with the Fast Track designation the FDA granted us for QR-010. It highlights the unmet medical need in cystic fibrosis and the need for innovative and more efficacious medicines for CF. We look forward to working with the FDA to bring QR-010 to patients faster,” said Daniel de Boer, Chief Executive Officer of ProQR. “We are also looking forward to releasing data for the first-in-human trials of QR-010 in CF patients later this year during the North American CF conference (NACFC) held on 27-29 October 2016 in Orlando, Florida.”

ProQR is currently running two global clinical studies of QR-010 in CF patients. The first is PQ-010-002, a proof-of-concept study evaluating the effect of QR-010 on an important measurement of CFTR function, the nasal potential difference (NPD). This open label 28-day study enrolls 16 CF patients, 8 homozygous (carrying two copies) for the ?F508 mutation and 8 compound heterozygous (one copy of the ?F508 plus one other CF disease causing mutation) with the option to enroll an additional 16. Top-line data from the first 16 patients is expected to be presented during the NACFC.

The second study is PQ-010-001, a Phase 1b randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation 28-day study. The safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single and multiple ascending doses of inhaled QR-010 is being evaluated in 64 CF patients carrying two copies (homozygotes) of the DF508 mutation. In addition, exploratory efficacy endpoints in this study include sweat chloride, weight gain, CFQ-R Respiratory Symptom Score and lung function, measured by FEV1. This study is not powered for statistical significance on any of these exploratory endpoints. The company expects to present preliminary data from the single ascending dose cohorts at the same time as results for study PQ-010-002. At that time the company will also provide further guidance for the data from the multiple ascending dose cohorts.