Chemistry: Generation 2+
Tominersen, formerly known as IONIS-HTTRx and RG6042, is an investigational antisense medicine designed to reduce the production of the huntingtin (HTT) protein, which is the genetic cause of Huntington’s disease (HD). HD is caused by expansion of the CAG trinucleotide sequence in the HTT gene, which produces a toxic protein that progressively destroys neurons in the brain. As a result, HD patients experience progressive loss of mental faculties and physical control as their disease progresses.
The European Medicines Agency has granted orphan drug designation to tominersen for the treatment of patients with HD.
About Huntington’s Disease
HD is an inherited genetic brain disorder that results in the progressive loss of both mental faculties and physical control. It is caused by the expansion of the CAG trinucleotide sequence in the HTT gene. The resulting mutant HTT protein is toxic and gradually destroys neurons. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 and 50 and worsen over a 10 to 25-year period. Ultimately, the weakened individual succumbs to pneumonia, heart failure or other complications. Presently, there is no effective treatment or cure for the disease, and currently available medicines only mask the patient’s symptoms but do not slow down the underlying loss of neurons.