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FIBROCELL SCIENCE, INC. filed this Form 10-Q on 08/09/2018
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proprietary RheoSwitch Therapeutic System® (RTS®), a biologic switch activated by an orally administered compound (Veledimex) to control protein expression at the site of localized scleroderma lesions. FCX-013 is designed to be injected under the skin at the location of the fibrotic lesions where the genetically-modified fibroblast cells will produce MMP-1 to break down excess collagen accumulation. With the FCX-013 therapy, the patient will take Veledimex to facilitate protein expression. Once the fibrosis is resolved, the patient will stop taking Veledimex which will halt further MMP-1 production.

We previously completed a proof-of-concept study for FCX-013 in which the primary objective was to determine whether FCX-013 had the potential to reduce dermal thickness in fibrotic tissue. In this study, FCX-013 was evaluated in a bleomycin-induced scleroderma model utilizing severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Data from the study demonstrated that FCX-013 reduced dermal thickness of fibrotic tissue to levels similar to that of the non-bleomycin treated control and further reduced the thickness of the sub-dermal muscle layer. Based upon this data and the FDA’s feedback to our pre-IND briefing package, we advanced FCX-013 into a pre-clinical dose-ranging study which has been completed.

In December 2017, we completed a good laboratory practice (GLP) toxicology/biodistribution study that assessed FCX-013 in a bleomycin fibrosis model using immunocompromised (NOD/SCID) mice. Data from this study showed no test article-related clinical observations, body weight changes, changes in clinical pathology parameters, gross observations or organ weight change. In addition, there was no significant vector biodistribution to target organs.

We submitted an IND for FCX-013 to the FDA in January 2018, and in March 2018, the FDA allowed the IND to progress to clinical trials. We initiated the first investigator site for clinical enrollment for an open label, single arm Phase 1/2 clinical trial in August 2018. The primary objective of the trial is to evaluate the safety of FCX-013. Secondary analyses consist of several fibrosis assessments including histology, skin scores, ultrasound and additional measurements of targeted sclerotic lesions and control sites at various time points up to 16 weeks post-administration of FCX-013. We are targeting ten patients with any subtype of localized scleroderma are targeted for enrollment (approximately 5 patients per Phase). The Phase 1 portion will enroll adult patients, and dosing for the first three adult patients will be staggered prior to dosing the rest of the trial’s population. We intend to include pediatric patients in the Phase 2 portion of the trial after submission and approval of safety and activity data from the adult Phase 1 patients from the FDA and the DSMB for the trial. We plan to manufacture FCX-013 at our Exton, PA cGMP manufacturing facility.

FCX-013 has received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for the treatment of localized scleroderma and Rare Pediatric Disease Designation for moderate to severe localized scleroderma.

Gene Therapy Research Program for Arthritis and Related Conditions

Arthritis is a broad term that covers a group of more than 100 different types of diseases that affect the joints, as well as connective tissues and organs, including the skin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis-characterized by joint inflammation, pain and decreased range of motion-is the United States’ most common cause of disability affecting more than 52 million adults as well as 300,000 children at a cost exceeding $120 billion.

Our third gene therapy program is in the research phase and is focused on the treatment of arthritis and related conditions. Our goal is to deliver a protein therapy locally to the joint to provide sustained efficacy while avoiding key side effects typically associated with systemic therapy.