At this time ALSUntangled finds no independently verifiable data supporting the efficacy or even the safety of GM604 in patients with ALS. We believe that independent peer review and replication are fundamentals of good science (36,37). Accordingly, we share the FDA’s April 2015 opinion that the data on GM604 in ALS should be released now for
independent peer review (38). If these preliminary data are confirmed to be positive, statistics on the false-positive rate of small trials (29,30) and consensus ALS trial guidelines (35) dictate that they be replicated in a larger, longer duration study before GM604 is deemed effective or even safe for patients with ALS.
ALSUntangled generally supports the use of expanded access programs during ALS drug development. We believe that these should be reserved for treatments that have at least some independently verifiable safety data. In our opinion, that is not the case with GM604, so we feel that expanded access is premature at this time. When we can independently verify safety data, we hope to see a GM604 group expanded access program that has transparent entry criteria, systematic objective outcome measures, full disclosure of results, and, as suggested by the FDA, allows for a sponsor’s cost recovery but not for profit (39).
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