Hopes are always raised whenever there is a media report about a new drug that potentially could have an impact on a widespread health issue. That’s understandable. But sometimes it’s wise to be cautiously optimistic. That’s particularly pertinent when the health issue is Borderline Personality Disorder.
Oryzon Genomics, a Spanish pharmaceutical company, recently presented the results from a Phase 2a clinical trial of a new compound they developed called Vafidemstat.
Vafidemstat is designed to tamp down agitation and aggressive behaviors, two symptoms often associated with BPD. Using a lab technique known as epigenetics, the new compound can modify dysregulated responses to stress that originate in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain.
30 people participated in the Vafidemstat trial, 12 with Borderline Personality Disorder, 11 with ADHD and 7 with Autism Spectrum Syndrome, three mental health conditions that commonly feature agitation and aggressive behaviors at levels sufficient to disrupt a person’s daily life.
The study results showed that all three study groups benefitted from the drug, but the BPD group saw the greatest response of the three. Additionally, there was a significant reduction in suicidal ideation in the BPD patients, a problem not typically associated with the other two disorders. Vafidemstat also proved to be safe and effective in this early round.
This is very good news for people with BPD.
The more cautious aspects of this news are that the study is an early stage test of the drug and 30 participants is too small a sample to rely upon when evaluating its potential widespread application. The next step that Oryzon says it will take is to conduct a larger, multi-center Phase 2b clinical trial of Vafidemstat involving only individuals who have BPD to further determine the effects of the drug on agitation, aggression and suicide ideation in the BPD population.
We will keep tabs on the continuing development and study results of Vafidemstat and report on them here. In the meantime, here’s the paper Oryzon presented at the recent European Congress of Psychiatry.