Investigational Agent Demonstrates Neurogenesis And Confirming Improvements In Behavioral Model
KineMed presented data demonstrating the ability of an investigational agent to regenerate nerve cells in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved with cognition and mood. The agent, part of a partnered relationship in indications discovery, also improved performance in a behavioral test in a preclinical model. The findings were disclosed in a presentation titled, "Indications Discovery Using In Vivo Pathways as Targets," at the second annual Drug Repositioning Summit hosted by Cambridge Healthtech Institute in Philadelphia.
According to presenter Scott Turner, Ph.D., Vice President, Research at KineMed, "The KineMed team set out to demonstrate regenerative capacity in the hippocampus because all known anti-depressants stimulate hippocampal neurogenesis, and an increase in hippocampal neurogenesis correlates with improved learning and memory. Based on the reported findings, we believe we have identified a compound that could indeed have application in treating cognitive impairment, an area of substantial unmet clinical need."
David Fineman, President and CEO of KineMed, stated, "The current findings demonstrate the power of KineMed's technology, which measures the flow of molecules through intact metabolic pathways. Using this technology, KineMed is able to take a shelved compound, or an entire drug class, and put it back into the clinic, thereby derisking the class of compounds. This is unique from other efforts because our testing takes place in the intact human and animal. As described in the research presentation, we are able to demonstrate a compound's ability to increase hippocampal neurogenesis, providing a rationale for the compound's behavioral outcome."
Mr. Fineman added, "We are proud of the achievements of our team and look forward to further progress in these and other efforts."
Dr. Turner also presented on KineMed's most advanced compound, KM-801, which is expected to enter clinical studies in 2008 for the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease). KM-801 is a small-molecule agent, which has been shown to alter microtubule dynamics in nerve cells in preclinical studies (J Biol Chem. 2007 Jun 13). KineMed researchers have discovered that patients with ALS have more rapid rates of turnover of microtubules, which are integral to the structure and functionality of the motor neurons affected by the disease. By using an agent that can slow down this rate of turnover, KineMed has shown in preclinical studies that it can restore balance to this key metabolic pathway and improve both symptoms and survival. KineMed's KM-801 program is currently in IND-enabling studies to support the initiation of clinical trials next year.
KineMed KineMarker Product Programs in Neurobiology
KineMed's programs utilize proprietary in vivo technologies to indentify drug candidates that can modulate several key biological pathways involved in the pathogenesis and treatment of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. This approach can be applied in clinical, as well as preclinical, settings.
KineMed's Neuroinflammation and Neurogenesis KineMarkers are more sensitive, reproducible and high-throughput than traditional methods, such as histological staining, and are safer than traditional radioisotope labeling methods. Areas of neurobiology where KineMed has active discovery programs include mood disorders, ALS, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and diabetic neuropathy, as well as disorders of learning and memory.