SAN CARLOS, Calif., Dec. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Alkahest, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing transformative therapies to treat age-related diseases, today announced the initiation of a phase 2 clinical trial of its orally administered small molecule CCR3 inhibitor, AKST4290. The company has treated the first patient in trial AKST4290-206 (STEEL) studying the effect of AKST4290 on choroidal blood flow (ChBF) in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
“Age-related macular degeneration is currently the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the over-65 population of the developed world, with an estimated increase in prevalence from 170 to 288 million by 2040. The addition of a safe and effective oral treatment option could have a profound impact on the treatment of this growing population,” said Elizabeth Jeffords, chief strategy officer of Alkahest. “This mechanistic study will provide additional insights and understanding of the clinical improvements reported in our earlier Phase 2a trials of AKST4290.”
AKST4290-206 (STEEL) is an open-label study to assess the effect of 4 weeks of orally administered AKST4290 on ChBF in subjects with one eye affected by neovascular AMD. ChBF will be measured in the unaffected fellow eye of subjects using laser doppler flowmetry (LDF). Subjects will continue any standard of care treatment for their neovascular AMD throughout the 4-week treatment period, including use of anti-VEGF agents. The study will assess the effects of AKST4290 on choroidal blood flow, oxygen saturation and other morphological endpoints that are considered a major part of the pathogenesis of neovascular AMD. Alkahest plans to enroll approximately 15 subjects at the University of Vienna, Austria.
AKST4290 is an orally administered CCR3 inhibitor that blocks the action of eotaxin, an immunomodulatory protein that increases as humans age and with specific age-related diseases. By targeting eotaxin and its downstream effects, AKST4290 may reduce the hallmark inflammation and neovascularization of AMD while also acting more broadly to reduce inflammation associated with many other age-related diseases.
Alkahest is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing treatments for neurodegenerative and age-related diseases with transformative therapies targeting the aging plasma proteome. The Alkahest pipeline includes multiple therapeutic candidates ranging from selected plasma fractions to protein-targeted interventions which aim to slow the detrimental biological processes of aging. Alkahest is developing novel plasma-based therapies in collaboration with Grifols, a global healthcare company and leading producer of plasma therapies. For further information see www.alkahest.com or follow us on Twitter @AlkahestInc
Chief Commercial & Strategy Officer
LifeSci Public Relations