Published on August 21, 2012 at 6:10 AM
Seattle-based biotech company Kineta, Inc. announced today it has
received regulatory clearance in the Netherlands to initiate a
first-in-human trial of ShK-186, an autoimmune drug candidate that
specifically inhibits the Kv1.3 potassium ion channel. Kineta's program
is the first Kv1.3-specific inhibitor advanced into the clinic, a key
milestone in the industry's race to develop an immune-sparing therapy
for a spectrum of diseases that includes Multiple Sclerosis (MS),
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Lupus (SLE).
Kv1.3 has been a target of industry efforts for its role in instigating
activation of effector memory T-cells, which are major mediators of
autoimmune disease. Kineta scientific advisor and University of
California, Irvine Professor, K. George Chandy M.D., Ph.D. and his
collaborators discovered the Kv1.3 channel, and invented ShK-186 by
modifying natural sea anemone-derived peptide inhibitors of Kv1.3. By
selectively blocking the Kv1.3 channel, ShK-186 can reduce disease
symptoms and pathology in animal models of MS, RA, and SLE without
broadly suppressing the immune system.
Dr. Tim Coetzee, Chief Research Officer for the National Multiple
Sclerosis Society, an early supporter of Dr. Chandy's innovative
research, commented, "It is particularly gratifying to see research
supported by the Society progress to this exciting stage. There is a
clear, unmet medical need for new therapies to treat MS that have novel
mechanisms of action and may offer freedom from the side effects that
accompany broad suppression of the immune system."
Source: Kineta, Inc.