Sangamo drug looks promising in small strength trial

A small, mid-stage trial of Sangamo BioSciences' muscle-strengthening therapy produced promising results for a third of the ALS patients enrolled, roughly doubling the historical rate of muscle improvement among untreated patients.

Sangamo (SGMO) Chief Executive Edward Lanphier told Reuters that he was unaware of the magnitude of the improvement in strength among patients in the trial, which will run into the second quarter of 2010. Lanphier was also reluctant to lay out a timeline for a late-stage trial of SB-509, but Ely Benaim, vice president of clinical affairs, says that there's real potential for a combination approach to ALS that includes the therapy. SB-509--which is also being studied for severe diabetic neuropathy--activates vascular endothelial growth factor.

"One of the challenges in ALS is to find different drugs that act in different areas of the nervous system," Reuters quotes Benaim as saying. "There is the potential for combination therapies."

- check out the Sangamo release
- here's the story from Reuters