BOSTON, Sept. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Decibel Therapeutics (Nasdaq: DBTX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to discovering and developing transformative treatments to restore and improve hearing and balance, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted both Orphan Drug Designation and Rare Pediatric Disease Designation for the company’s lead gene therapy product candidate, DB-OTO, for the treatment of patients with otoferlin-related congenital hearing loss.
“We are pleased to receive these important designations from the FDA, which support our conviction that innovative treatments for congenital hearing loss are urgently needed,” said Heather Wolff, Vice President, Clinical Development Operations of Decibel. “Preclinical studies support the potential of DB-OTO to provide hearing to children born with profound hearing loss due to a mutation of the otoferlin gene. We are looking forward to initiating a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of DB-OTO in pediatric patients in 2022.”
Orphan Drug Designation is granted to drugs and biologics intended for the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases, or conditions affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. The designation affords Decibel the potential for certain benefits, including up to seven years of post-approval market exclusivity, assistance in the drug development process, tax credits for clinical development and exemptions from certain FDA fees.
Rare Pediatric Disease Designation is granted by the FDA to encourage development of treatments for serious or life-threatening rare diseases in which the disease manifestations primarily affect individuals aged from birth to 18 years. Under the Priority Review Voucher program, and subject to FDA approval of DB-OTO for the treatment of otoferlin-related hearing loss, Decibel may be eligible to receive one priority review voucher, which could then be redeemed to receive priority review for a subsequent marketing application for a different product or sold or transferred to another sponsor.
DB-OTO is a dual-vector adeno-associated virus (AAV) investigational gene therapy product candidate designed to restore hearing to individuals with profound, congenital hearing loss caused by mutations in the otoferlin gene. The program, developed in collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, uses a proprietary, cell-selective promoter to precisely control gene expression in cochlear hair cells. DB-OTO is in preclinical studies, and Decibel expects to initiate clinical testing in 2022.
About Decibel Therapeutics
Decibel Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to discovering and developing transformative treatments to restore and improve hearing and balance, one of the largest areas of unmet need in medicine. Decibel has built a proprietary platform that integrates single-cell genomics and bioinformatic analyses, precision gene therapy technologies and expertise in inner ear biology. Decibel is leveraging its platform to advance gene therapies designed to selectively replace genes for the treatment of congenital, monogenic hearing loss and to regenerate inner ear hair cells for the treatment of acquired hearing and balance disorders. Decibel’s pipeline, including its lead gene therapy program, DB-OTO, to treat congenital, monogenic hearing loss, is designed to deliver on our vision of a world in which the privileges of hearing and balance are available to all. For more information about Decibel Therapeutics, please visit www.decibeltx.com or follow us on Twitter.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, contained in this press release, including statements regarding Decibel’s strategy, future operations, prospects, plans, objectives of management, the therapeutic potential for Decibel’s product candidates and preclinical programs, the expected timeline for submitting investigational new drug applications and achieving other planned milestones and the sufficiency of Decibel’s existing cash resources for the period anticipated, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “objective,” “ongoing,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “should,” or “would,” or the negative of these terms, or other comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Decibel may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: uncertainties inherent in the identification and development of product candidates, including the conduct of research activities and the initiation and completion of preclinical studies and clinical trials, the timing of and Decibel’s ability to submit and obtain approval to initiate clinical development of its product candidates, whether results from preclinical studies will be predictive of the results of later preclinical studies and clinical trials, whether Decibel’s cash resources are sufficient to fund its foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements, uncertainties related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Decibel’s business and operations, as well as the risks and uncertainties identified in Decibel’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including those risks detailed under the caption “Risk Factors” in Decibel’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2021 and in other filings Decibel may make with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent Decibel’s views as of the date of this press release. Decibel anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while Decibel may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Decibel’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
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