Rimeporide as a first- in-class NHE-1 inhibitor: Results of a phase Ib trial in young patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Stefano C. Previtali, Teresa Gidaro, Jordi Díaz-Manera, Alberto Zambon, Stephanie Carnesecchi, Pascale Roux-Lombard, Pietro Spitali, Mirko Signorelli, Cristina Al Khalili Szigyarto, Camilla Johansson, Julian Gray, Delphine Labolle, Florence Porte Thomé, Jacqueline Pitchforth, Joana Domingos, Francesco Muntoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rimeporide, a first-in-class sodium/proton exchanger Type 1 inhibitor (NHE-1 inhibitor) is repositioned by EspeRare for patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Historically, NHE-1 inhibitors were developed for cardiac therapeutic interventions. There is considerable overlap in the pathophysiological mechanisms in Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and in cardiomyopathy in DMD, therefore NHE-1 inhibition could be a promising pharmacological approach to the cardiac dysfunctions observed in DMD. Extensive preclinical data was collected in various animal models including dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mice to characterise Rimeporide's anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties and there is evidence that NHE-1 inhibitors could play a significant role in modifying DMD cardiac and also skeletal pathologies, as the NHE-1 isoform is ubiquitous. We report here the first study with Rimeporide in DMD patients. This 4-week treatment, open label phase Ib, multiple oral ascending dose study, enrolled 20 ambulant boys with DMD (6–11 years), with outcomes including safety, pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) biomarkers. Rimeporide was safe and well-tolerated at all doses. PK evaluations showed that Rimeporide was well absorbed orally reaching pharmacological concentrations from the lowest dose, with exposure increasing linearly with dose and with no evidence of accumulation upon repeated dosing. Exploratory PD biomarkers showed positive effect upon a 4-week treatment, supporting its therapeutic potential in patients with DMD, primarily as a cardioprotective treatment, and provide rationale for further efficacy studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104999
JournalPharmacological Research
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • NHE-1
  • Pharmacokinetic
  • Rimeporide
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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