Biotech startup uses “Snail venom” to treat chronic pain and opioid addiction
Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the translational development of novel immune modulating therapies, announced that KCP-400 (RgIA4), a potent antagonist of the α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), demonstrates robust chronic pain relief and disease modifying effects in preclinical pain models. The study also establishes the α9α10 nAChR as a new, non-opioid target for the treatment of chronic pain. The findings were reported online in the February 20th issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
KCP-400 is derived from the venom of the Conus regius, a small cone snail native to the Caribbean Sea that uses a venomous punch to paralyze and kill its prey. “Nature has evolved molecules that are extremely sophisticated and can have unexpected applications,” said Dr. Baldomero Olivera, professor in biology at the University of Utah and co-author of the study. “We were interested in using venoms to understand different pathways in the nervous system.”
Using chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in rodents, researchers from Kineta and the University of Utah, showed that α9α10 nAChRs play a key role in the progression of CIPN and that KCP-400 is an effective compound to block this target. The observed pain relief continued for 72 hours after the compound was injected, indicating that KCP-400 may provide sustained relief of chronic pain.
“KCP-400’s target, the α9α10 nAChR, represents a mechanistically distinct approach to modify the disease course of chronic pain”, said Dr. Shawn Iadonato, CEO of Kineta and co-author of the study. “KCP-400 blocks pain signaling at the site of nerve injury producing analgesic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Additionally, since KCP-400 is peripherally acting, we do not anticipate that it will have the central nervous system-related side effects associated with opioid therapies.”
Public health officials have called the current opioid epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history, killing more than 90 people every day. “There is a tremendous unmet medical need for new chronic pain therapies that are differentiated from currently available treatment options”, said Dr. Iadonato. “We believe that KCP-400, with its novel characteristics, may have a significant and positive impact for patients and their families.
Kineta is conducting ongoing preclinical safety and efficacy studies of KCP-400 in many forms of chronic pain and plans to advance to Phase 1 human clinical trials in mid-2018.
The study was conducted by Kineta in collaboration with colleagues from University of Utah, University of Florence, Italy, A.T. Still University, University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City.
This work was supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs through the FY13 DOD USAMRMC Broad Agency Announcement under Award No. W81XWH-15-2-0057.
Kineta, Inc. is an emerging and sustainable biotech company that fills a void in the biopharmaceutical industry by efficiently advancing therapies from discovery to clinical proof of concept. We actively collaborate with a broad array of private, government and industry partners to advance our innovative research in chronic pain, immuno-oncology and infectious diseases. Kineta has established and is expanding on a diverse pipeline of novel life improving therapies that address critical unmet patient needs. For more information on Kineta, Inc. visit our website, www.Kinetabio.com
KCP-400 is a first in class α9α10 nAChR antagonist with a novel mechanism of action. It is a highly potent synthetic peptide that is derived from the venom of a cone snail. KCP-400 is a non-opioid that has demonstrated robust analgesic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects across multiple preclinical chronic pain models. It is well tolerated with no observed toxicities in short-term studies in animals.
Source and Credits : Kineta, Inc
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