To further support its quest to advance a new therapy for Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, Inhibikase Therapeutics has added three leading researchers to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
The pharmaceutical company is developing protein kinase inhibitors for the treatment of neurological infections and neurodegenerative diseases. Its pipeline includes prospective therapies developed from its proprietary Re-engineering Approach with Metabolism Preserved (RAMP) drug innovation engine, which uses validated kinase inhibitors that have an established safety profile and re-enginer them with specific criteria to some of better effectiveness at lower doses.
Its lead product candidate, lkT-148009, is a first-in-class small-molecule oral medication that targets an underlying biological mechanism believed to lead to Parkinson’s disease, with the goal of restricting disease progression. Specifically, the compound aims to block activation of Abl kinase — a regulator that plays a central role in Parkinson’s disease progression — to prevent or reverse the loss of dopamine-secreting neurons in the brain and gastrointestinal tract by restoring neuroprotective mechanisms.
Abl kinases are thought to play a critical role in monitoring insults to neurons inside and outside the brain, and regulating biological pathways responsible for protecting neurons from dying.
Last month, the company filed two investigational new drug (IND) applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to advance lkT-48009 into the clinic, including one using standard measures as a primary readout of treatment benefit. The second one will use novel diagnostic tools and natural history data to evaluate lkT-48009.
Inhibikase expects first-in-human studies to start in the next quarter.
Meanwhile, the company’s newly appointed SAB members are:
- C. Warren Olanow, MD, professor emeritus, departments of neuroscience and neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and CEO of clinical research company Clintrex. Olanow has led multiple pivotal clinical trials, and is the former president of the Movement Disorder Society, and the International Medical Society of Motor Disturbances. He is the recipient of the 2013 Movement Disorders Research Award from the American Academy of Neurology.
- Karl D. Kieburtz, MD, professor, department of neurology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. The president of Clintrex, Kieburtz is director of the clinical coordinating center for The Michael J. Fox Foundation-sponsored Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI). He has been principal investigator for more than 50 multi-center clinical trials, and previously was vice president of the American Neurological Association.
- Robert A. Hauser, MD, is professor, departments of neurology and molecular pharmacology, University of South Florida. He also directs the university’s Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders center. He has authored or co-authored more than 300 publications, and is one of the world’s most cited Parkinson’s disease investigators. Previously, he was chairman of the Interventional Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology. His research focus is the development of new treatments for Parkinson’s and other movement disorders.
”We are pleased to welcome Dr. Olanow, Dr. Kieburtz and Dr. Hauser to our scientific board,” Milton Werner, PhD, president and CEO of Inhibikase, said in a press release. “As Inhibikase continues to learn as a company, we believe their clinical development, treatment expertise and successful track record will be a critical asset as we continue to explore our approach to potentially both halt and reverse Parkinson’s disease.”