Study Overview:

The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the efficacy (using the modified Friedreich Ataxia Rating Scale [mFARS]) and safety of vatiquinone in participants with Friedreich ataxia (FA).

Anyone considering participating in a clinical trial should discuss the matter with their physician. FARA does not endorse or recommend any particular studies.

Study Details:

During the double-blind, placebo-controlled phase, participants will be stratified by baseline mFARS score (<40 versus ≥40), age of disease onset (<14 versus ≥14), and age at screening (≤21 years or >21 years) and randomized to receive either vatiquinone or placebo using interactive response technology (IRT). Following completion of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase (72 weeks), participants will enter into an open-label extension phase (24 weeks) during which they will receive open-label treatment with vatiquinone at the dose they received in the randomized phase of the study (for participants entering the extension phase who initially received placebo, the dose of vatiquinone will be determined based on age and weight) and then a safety follow-up (approximately 30 days [±5 days] after last dose or termination visit, whichever is later).

The primary efficacy analysis will be based on change from baseline in mFARS score of participants between 7 and 21 years old. In order to explore the treatment efficacy and safety, approximately an additional 20 participants >21 years of age will be randomized for a total of approximately 126 participants.

Key Inclusion Criteria:

  • mFARS ≥20 to ≤70 at baseline
  • Must be able to ambulate at least 10 feet in 1 minute with or without assistance (non-wheelchair).
  • Friedreich ataxia diagnosis (homozygous for guanine-adenine-adenine [GAA] repeat expansion in intron-1 of frataxin [FXN] gene), confirmed by clinical testing (Note: size of GAA repeat is not required for eligibility)
  • Consent to comply with study procedures. For participants under the age of 18 (or age of consent), parent(s)/legal guardian(s) of the participant must agree to comply with the requirements of the study, including the need for frequent and prolonged follow up; parent(s)/legal guardian(s) with custody of the participant must give their consent for participant to enroll in the study.
  • Difference in the mFARS at screening and baseline of no more than 4 points.
  • Must be able to abstain from anticoagulants and any aspirin (including 81 mg) for 30 days prior to the baseline visit and for the duration of the study; any possible discontinuation of anticoagulants should be monitored and indicated by a specialist (for example, cardiologist, neurologist, or hematologist) and discontinuation will be noted by the prescribing physician.
  • Must be able to abstain from potent cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 inducers/inhibitors (for example, ketoconazole, rifampin, St. John’s wort, grapefruit juice or any grapefruit product) for at least 30 days prior to enrollment
  • Must be able to swallow capsules
  • Males and females of childbearing potential must be willing to use an effective method of contraception from the time consent is signed until 30 days after the last dose of study drug or early termination visit. Male participants must agree not to donate sperm during the study and for at least 30 days after the last dose of study drug or early termination visit.

Key Exclusion Criteria:

  • Individuals with clinical diagnosis of FA who have point mutations or deletions or other non-GAA expansion mutations
  • Previous treatment with vatiquinone
  • Allergy to vatiquinone, sesame oil, gelatin (bovine and/or porcine), titanium dioxide, or red iron oxide
  • Ejection fraction <50%
  • Uncontrolled diabetes (glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] >7.0%) at the time of screening
  • Has current suicidal ideation based on Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) within 3 months prior to screening or between screening and baseline at the baseline visit or suicidal behavior within the last year at the screening visit or between screening and baseline at the baseline visit
  • Pregnant or lactating participants or those sexually active participants who are unwilling to comply with proper birth control methods; females of childbearing potential must have a negative pregnancy test at screening and during the baseline visit
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ≥2 * upper limit of normal (ULN) at time of screening
  • International normalized ratio (INR) ≥1.5 * ULN at time of screening or clinically significant (CS) bleeding, as determined by the investigator
  • Serum creatinine ≥1.5 * ULN at time of screening
  • Comorbidities that may confound study results (for example, fat malabsorption syndrome, other mitochondrial disorder) in the opinion of the investigator
  • Participation in any other interventional clinical trial or received any investigational drug in any other clinical trial within 60 days prior to the baseline visit. Participants may be rescreened after the exclusionary period of 60 days has passed.
  • Concomitant use of interventional coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), vitamin E, or any approved or non-approved medication for FA within 30 days prior to the screening visit. These prohibited medications can be discontinued at the screening visit; if this is the case, the mFARS assessment must be repeated to confirm inclusion eligibility after a minimum of 30 days post-discontinuation and there must be no more than a 4-point difference in mFARS assessed from the post-discontinuation visit to the baseline visit.
  • Illicit drug use 30 days prior to screening and during the study is prohibited.

Additional inclusion and exclusion criteria may apply and will be evaluated by a study doctor. 

Length of Study Commitment:

72 weeks (Initial Study), plus 24 weeks (Open Label Extension)

Participating Study Locations

Institution Name and LocationInvestigatorStatus

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

Dr. David Lynch

Active, recruiting closed

University of South Florida
Tampa, FL

Dr. Teresa Zesiewicz

Active, recruiting closed

Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Susan Perlman

Active, recruiting closed

University of Iowa

Dr. Kathy Mathews

Active, recruiting closed

University of Florida, Gainesville
Gainesville, FL

Dr. Sub Subramony

Active, recruiting closed

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Martin Delatycki

Active, recruiting closed

Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal, Canada

Dr. Antoine Duquette

Active, recruiting closed

CHU Sainte-Justine, Canada
Enrolling children <14 years old

Active, recruiting closed

University of Campinas (UNICAMP) , Brazil

Dr. Marcondes Cavalcante Franca Junior

Active, recruiting closed

France, Institute du Cerveau et de la Molelle epiniere (ICM), Hopital Universitaire Pitie-Salpetriere

Dr. Alexandra Durr

Active, recruiting closed

Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand

Dr. Richard Roxburgh

Active, recruiting closed

Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Unidad de Enfermedades Neuromusculares, Spain

Dr. Alejandra Darling

Active, recruiting closed

Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu’ IRCCS, Italy

Dr. Enrico Bertini

Active, recruiting closed

Department of Neurology and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Germany

Explore the FA Drug Development Pipeline

FARA believes that there are many different approaches to treating Friedreich’s ataxia, and that it will require a cocktail approach of two or more treatments to slow, stop, reverse, and cure FA. Learn more about the approach behind this potential treatment and explore the other approaches that are in the FA Drug Development pipeline.