One of our key chronokine targets identified using the ALK platform is eotaxin. Eotaxin is an immunomodulatory chemokine that is increased in normal aging and in multiple diseases of aging. It has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Retinal diseases and other aging-related diseases that involve systemic inflammation, demonstrating effects both in the CNS and in the periphery. Targeting this chronokine may cause improvements via two mechanisms—a broad anti-inflammatory mechanism and an immune modulatory mechanism through the body’s innate immune cells.
Alkahest is developing AKST4290, an inhibitor against CCR3, the natural receptor for eotaxin, as an orally administered treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 in the US. Manifestations of wet AMD are associated with a number of factors, including chronic inflammation and involvement of peripheral immune factors.
AKST4290 is an easily administered, oral drug designed to block eotaxin from binding to its receptor, thereby potentially preventing its detrimental inflammatory effects in macular degeneration and other diseases of aging. Two Phase 2a clinical trials for AKST4290 were recently completed: one in naïve patients and one in refractory wet AMD patients. Full data of these studies will be released in 2019. We are also developing AKST4290 for other critical diseases of aging.