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Clinical Trial to Investigate CT38 in the Treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (InTiME)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03613129
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 2, 2018
Results First Posted : April 30, 2020
Last Update Posted : May 12, 2020
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
LUCINDA BATEMAN, MD, Bateman Horne Center

Brief Summary:
This study seeks to investigate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of CT38, an experimental peptide administered by subcutaneous infusion, in the treatment of ME/CFS patients.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Drug: CT38 Phase 1 Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex disorder that may be triggered by infection or other stressors (e.g., emotional or physical trauma, immune activation, chemical exposures). Its hallmark is a reduced capacity for physical and mental activity manifest as profound fatigue along with a cascade of debilitating symptoms (including pain, cognitive dysfunction, orthostatic intolerance, sensitivities, and irregularities of the autonomic, immune and metabolic systems) that worsen with activity (referred to as post-exertional malaise or PEM), are not improved by sleep, and can persist for years. Patients are often unable to handle the activities of daily living and experience a loss of career and a very poor quality of life. There are no established diagnostic tests or approved therapeutics for ME/CFS.

The cause of ME/CFS is not known. It has been postulated that ME/CFS could arise from the up-regulation of a specific receptor (CRF2) in those parts of the brain that govern the sensitivity of the stress response. This configuration would invoke a major response to a minor stimulus, ultimately leading to neuroendocrine, autonomic, immune and metabolic abnormalities that are commonly observed. There is no animal model of ME/CFS, but overstimulating CRF2 in healthy rats, induces signs and symptoms consistent with the disease in humans; while down-regulating it, via CT38 (an experimental peptide), eliminates the ability to stimulate these signs and symptoms. Hypothesis: Utilize CT38 to down-regulate CRF2 to restore a normal stress response, and potentially eliminate disease signs and symptoms.

The study will enroll 18 patients, who meet the Fukuda and Canadian criteria for ME/CFS, and treat them with various doses of CT38.

The primary endpoint will be the change in the average total daily symptom score (TDSS), over 28-day periods immediately prior to the first treatment (pre-treatment) and immediately prior to exit from the trial (post-treatment). The TDSS is the sum of 13 individual symptom scores, each recorded daily by the patient on a 6-point scale (0=none, 1=very mild, 2=mild, 3=moderate, 4=severe, 5=very severe). The individual symptoms included fatigue, muscle/joint pain, sleep issues (e.g., un-refreshing sleep, difficulty falling or staying asleep, excessive sleepiness), cognitive issues (e.g., slow information processing, memory difficulties, inability to concentrate/focus, attention deficit), orthostatic intolerance (e.g., dizziness, spatial disorientation, light-headedness, feeling faint), body temperature perceptions, flu-like symptoms (e.g., sore throat, tender lymph nodes, swollen glands, fever, chills, sinus/nasal problems), headaches or sensory sensitivities (to light, sound, smell, touch, taste), shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems (e.g., nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, diarrhea), urogenital problems (e.g., frequent urination), anxiety and depression.

The secondary outcomes will assess general health status (determined by Short-Form 36, or SF-36), as well as safety assessments.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 17 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Sequential Assignment
Intervention Model Description: The study is comprised of a recruitment and screening period, enrollment (Visit 1), a 4-week (at least) pre-treatment assessment period, a 1-week interventional treatment period with drug infused at Visits 3, 4 and 4b, a 4-week (at least) post-treatment assessment period, and a close-out (Visit 6).
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Pilot Phase 1/2, Open-Label, Clinical Trial to Investigate CT38 in the Treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Actual Study Start Date : July 23, 2018
Actual Primary Completion Date : April 30, 2019
Actual Study Completion Date : April 30, 2019

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: D0.20
Subcutaneous infusion of CT38 at 0.20 μg/kg/hour, for 3 hours on each of 2 days
Drug: CT38

Active Comparator: D0.03
Subcutaneous infusion of CT38 at 0.03 μg/kg/hour, for 3.5 hours on each of 3 days
Drug: CT38

Active Comparator: D0.06
Subcutaneous infusion of CT38 at 0.06 μg/kg/hour, for 3.5 hours on each of 3 days
Drug: CT38

Active Comparator: D0.01
Subcutaneous infusion of CT38 at 0.01 μg/kg/hour, for 3.5 hours on each of 3 days
Drug: CT38

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Total Daily Symptom Score (TDSS) [ Time Frame: 28 days preceding Visit 3 (pre-treatment) and 28 days preceding Visit 6 (post-treatment) ]
    Pre-/post-treatment difference in TDSS (0-65 scale, 0=no symptoms; 65=maximum of 5 for each of 13 specific patient-reported symptoms). The TDSS sums the patient-reported daily symptom score for each of 13 specific symptoms (including fatigue, muscle/joint pain, sleep problems, cognitive problems, orthostatic intolerance, body temperature perceptions, flu-like symptoms, headaches or sensitivities, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems, urogenital problems, anxiety and depression), each assessed on a 0-5 scale (0=no symptom, 1=very mild, 2=mild, 3=moderate, 4=severe, 5=severe)

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. SF-36, PCS [ Time Frame: Visit 3 before treatment (pre-treatment) and at Visit 6 (post-treatment) ]
    Pre-/post-treatment difference in the physical component score (PCS) of the RAND 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36), on a 0-100 scale (where 0=max disability and 100=no disability)

  2. SF-36, MCS [ Time Frame: Visit 3 before treatment (pre-treatment) and at Visit 6 (post-treatment) ]
    Pre-/post-treatment difference in the mental component score (MCS) of the RAND 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36), on a 0-100 scale (where 0=max disability and 100=no disability)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Provision of signed and dated informed consent form
  • Ability to read, understand and speak English
  • Living at an altitude between 3,500 and 5,500 feet above sea level for the past 1 year
  • Willing to perform an exercise test
  • Diagnosed with ME/CFS and meet the following 3 case definitions: Fukuda Research Case Definition for CFS (1994), Revised Canadian Consensus Criteria for ME/CFS (2010) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Clinical Diagnostic Criteria for ME/CFS (2015)
  • Relatively stable state of illness for the individual patient over the past 3 months
  • Male or female, between the ages of 18 and 60 years old
  • Males or females of reproductive potential agree to remain abstinent or use (or have their partner use) 2 acceptable methods of contraception, starting from the time of informed consent through 28 days after the last dose of study drug. Acceptable methods of birth control during the study are intrauterine device, diaphragm with spermicide, contraceptive sponge, condom or vasectomy. Oral contraceptive pills may not be used as the sole method of contraception because the effect of CT38 on the efficacy of oral contraceptive pills has not yet been established
  • Stated willingness to comply with all study procedures and remain available for the study duration
  • Have mobile (smart) phone and access to the internet

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Alternate medical or psychiatric illness that could explain the ME/CFS symptoms
  • Unwilling or unable to perform an exercise test
  • Active or uncontrolled co-morbidities which in the opinion of the PI may interfere with the ability of the patient to participate in the study. Co-morbidities may include acute infection, Crohn's disease, diabetes mellitus (Type 1 or Type 2, evidenced by a history of glycated hemoglobin (A1C) > 7 at any time), Guillain-Barre syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other such diseases that may be exclusionary. Particularly conditions or medications that cause immunodeficiency or immunosuppression will be excluded. Examples of such conditions can be found in the tables "Causes of Secondary Immunodeficiency" and "Some Drugs that Cause Immunosuppression" in the "Merck Manual"
  • Pregnancy, or while breast feeding. Women should not be enrolled within 6 months of giving birth and within 3 months of cessation of breast feeding
  • A Body Mass Index > 35
  • Cigarette smoker or former smoker who has smoked within 6 months of the start of the study
  • Living at an altitude that is more than 1,000 feet (lower or higher) from the study site (which is 4,500 feet above sea level)
  • History of:

    • Major depression with psychotic or melancholic features before the diagnosis of ME/CFS, or active depression (major depression with psychotic or melancholic features) as determined by self-report
    • Untreated endocrine diagnoses including hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's, etc.), Grave's disease, adrenal insufficiency, hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency), diabetes mellitus or insipidus
    • Acute infection within the past 30 days
    • Within the last 3 years, any significant head injury, e.g., concussion with loss of consciousness, brain surgery, an automobile accident with head/neck injury, other traumatic brain injury
    • A supra-ventricular tachycardia or ventricular tachycardia, e.g., atrial fibrillation or flutter, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, junctional tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia
    • Severe baseline hypotension defined as rested sitting systolic BP < 100 mmHg or rested sitting diastolic BP < 60 mmHg
    • Renal impairment based upon the local lab normal estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (drug is cleared by passive renal filtration)
    • Known hypersensitivity or clinically significant allergies to tromethamine or Tween 80 (both excipients in the drug product)
    • Substance abuse in the past 12 months as determined by self-report
  • Improvement in overall ME/CFS symptoms as a result of any treatment intervention in the past 3 months
  • Current treatment with medications that interact with pathways involving: (i) 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT) (e.g., selective 5HT re-uptake inhibitors or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), 5HT and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, triptans); (ii) norepinephrine (e.g., adrenergic agonists or antagonists, norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors, norepinephrine and dopamine re- uptake inhibitors); (iii) dopamine (e.g., norepinephrine and dopamine re-uptake inhibitors); and (iv) cortisol pathways (e.g., oral glucocorticoids, fludrocortisone).
  • Prior treatment with

    • Short-term (< 2 weeks) antiviral or antibiotic medication or flu shot within the past 4 weeks
    • Long-term (> 2 weeks) antiretrovirals within the past 12 months
    • RituximabTM within 6 months
    • Any new prescription drug or herbal remedy within 2 weeks prior to the onset of the trial
  • Current participation in another clinical treatment trial

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT03613129

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United States, Utah
Bateman Horne Center
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84102
Sponsors and Collaborators
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Principal Investigator: Lucinda Bateman, MD Bateman Horne Center
Study Director: Suzanne D Vernon, PhD Bateman Horne Center
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by LUCINDA BATEMAN, MD, Bateman Horne Center:
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Responsible Party: LUCINDA BATEMAN, MD, Founder & Medical Director, Bateman Horne Center Identifier: NCT03613129    
Other Study ID Numbers: ME-101p
First Posted: August 2, 2018    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: April 30, 2020
Last Update Posted: May 12, 2020
Last Verified: April 2020

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by LUCINDA BATEMAN, MD, Bateman Horne Center:
myalgic encephalomyelitis
chronic fatigue syndrome
corticotropin releasing-factor receptor subtype 2 (CRF2)
Alternative CRF2 names: CRFR2, CRH2, CRHR2
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic
Pathologic Processes
Signs and Symptoms
Virus Diseases
Muscular Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Central Nervous System Infections
Musculoskeletal Pain
Neurologic Manifestations