Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDRA), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing nucleic acid therapeutics for patients with cancer and rare diseases, and The Myositis Association (TMA), the only nonprofit organization dedicated to solely serving all patients with inflammatory myopathies, today announced a collaboration to advance a new potential treatment approach for polymyositis and dermatomyositis known as Toll-like receptor (TLR) antagonism. Under the collaboration, Idera and TMA will develop educational programs and resources for patients and healthcare providers, including interactive online chats, on TLR antagonism and opportunities to participate in upcoming clinical research. Idera plans to initiate a clinical trial of its investigational drug candidate IMO-8400, a first-in-class antagonist of TLRs 7, 8 and 9, in polymyositis and dermatomyositis by the end of 2014.
"We are very excited and pleased to work with TMA, a leading myositis patient advocacy association that shares our commitment to advancing new therapies that may improve outcomes for patients living with this rare and painful inflammatory muscle disease," said Kate Haviland, Vice President of Rare Diseases at Idera Pharmaceuticals. "As we prepare to move our investigational drug candidate IMO-8400 into clinical development for polymyositis and dermatomyositis, we believe that TMA will be instrumental in increasing patient and physician awareness and excitement for opportunities to participate in clinical research involving TLR antagonism."
"TMA is very pleased to collaborate with Idera to help advance their novel TLR antagonist therapeutic approach in myositis," said Bob Goldberg, Executive Director of The Myositis Association. "We believe that the work Idera is doing will further the myositis medical field and our understanding of how to better treat patients suffering from this debilitating rare disease."
Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are devastating, rare inflammatory myopathies that cause inflammation and progressive weakness in muscles. Polymyositis and dermatomyositis patients can develop serious disabilities, including loss of mobility, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and have an increased risk of certain cancers. Dermatomyositis is also accompanied by a purple or red skin rash. There are an estimated 15,000 polymyositis patients and 25,000 dermatomyositis patients in the U.S. alone. Both polymyositis and dermatomyositis have been designated as rare diseases by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.