A randomized pilot efficacy and safety trial of diazoxide choline controlled-release in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome


Virginia Kimonis, Abhilasha Surampalli, Marie Wencel, June-Anne Gold, Neil M. Cowen

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Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a complex genetic condition characterized by hyperphagia, hypotonia, low muscle mass, excess body fat, developmental delays, intellectual disability, behavioral problems, and growth hormone deficiency. This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of orally administered Diazoxide Choline Controlled-Release Tablets (DCCR) in subjects with PWS.


This was a single-center, Phase II study and included a 10-week Open-Label Treatment Period during which subjects were dose escalated, followed by a 4-week Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Treatment Period.


Five female and eight male overweight or obese, adolescent and adult subjects with genetically-confirmed PWS with an average age of 15.5±2.9 years were enrolled in the study. There was a statistically significant reduction in hyperphagia at the end of the Open-Label Treatment Period (-4.32, n = 11, p = 0.006). The onset of effect on hyperphagia was rapid and greater reductions in hyperphagia were seen in subjects with moderate to severe Baseline hyperphagia (-5.50, n = 6, p = 0.03), in subjects treated with the highest dose (-6.25, n = 4, p = 0.08), and in subjects with moderate to severe Baseline hyperphagia treated with the highest dose (-7.83, n = 3, p = 0.09). DCCR treatment resulted in a reduction in the number of subjects displaying aggressive behaviors (-57.1%, n = 10, p = 0.01), clinically-relevant reductions in fat mass (-1.58 kg, n = 11, p = 0.02) and increases in lean body mass (2.26 kg, n = 11, p = 0.003). There was a corresponding decrease in waist circumference, and trends for improvements in lipids and insulin resistance. The most common adverse events were peripheral edema and transient increases in glucose. Many of the adverse events were common medical complications of PWS and diazoxide.


DCCR treatment appears to address various unmet needs associated with PWS, including hyperphagia and aggressive behaviors in this proof-of-concept study. If the results were replicated in a larger scale study, DCCR may be a preferred therapeutic option for patients with PWS.

FPWR Grant:

A Dose Titration Study of Diazoxide Choline Controlled-Release Tablet (DCCR) in Patients with Prader-Willi syndrome with a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Withdrawal Extension