KPI Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company presented promising pre-clinical animal results using drugs from its platform of novel Kv1.3 inhibitors as topical therapy for uveitis, an autoimmune eye disease. The results presented at the 8th Ocular Diseases Drug Discovery Conference showed topical administration of these agents reduced disease severity and the infiltration of damaging inflammatory cells in an animal model of anterior uveitis. Administration of the drug to the surface of the eye was well-tolerated and resulted in significant penetration into the anterior chamber of the eye.
Using novel peptides from the same family as its lead autoimmune drug dalazatide, KPI is also developing a topical biologic Kv1.3 inhibitor for Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). This agent, KPI-190, targets the immune cells which cause autoimmune diseases. DES is a chronic life- long condition. It is caused mainly by autoimmune disease, viral infection, and aging. Nearly 414 million people are affected with DES worldwide.
"Promising results from our initial studies showing good penetration into the anterior chamber of the eye and efficacy in anterior uveitis models demonstrates the potential for these Kv 1.3 inhibitors to work in many autoimmune eye diseases," said Dr. Chelsea Olsen KPI Therapeutics. "In addition, new data is showing that patients with Sjogren's dry eye disease have high levels of Kv 1.3 channel expressed in their conjunctiva and are therefore a good target for treatment with our drug. Future studies will focus on proof-of-concept efficacy in dry eye diseases models using KPI-190, an ocular eye drop product developed specifically for these medical conditions," Olsen concluded.
Dalazatide (formerly ShK-186) completed a Phase 1b clinical trial in plaque psoriasis. It has a novel mechanism of action (MOA). Preclinical and clinical data have shown that dalazatide is a selective and potent blocker of the voltage-gated Kv1.3 potassium channel - a key channel in the activation of effector-memory T cells. Effector memory T cells are implicated in the pathology of many autoimmune diseases. Dalazatide was the first specific Kv1.3 inhibitor advanced into human clinical trials. Dalazatide is being studied as a potential therapy for autoimmune diseases including lupus, ANCA Vasculitis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, and asthma. Dalazatide is being developed jointly with Kineta Inc.
KPI-190 is derived from the ShK platform and is being developed as an eye drop for use in several eye diseases including Uveitis and Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). KPI's drug candidate has demonstrated proof of concept efficacy in models of anterior uveitis and has good penetration into the anterior chamber when administered topically.