Kainos Medicine said Friday that it would develop a treatment for multiple system atrophy (MSA) by expanding indications for KM-819, the company’s Parkinson’s disease treatment candidate.
MSA, also known as Shy–Drager syndrome, is a rare degenerative brain disease characterized by symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which includes slowness of body movement and stiffness, as well as autonomic nervous disorders such as dysuria and orthostatic hypotension.
There are about 300,000 MSA patients worldwide, including 2,000 in Korea.
MSA is the result of accumulation and aggregation of alpha-synuclein, a protein that helps neurotransmission, in the midbrain and basal ganglia of the brain as well as parietal and cerebellar nervous system and glial cells.
The company plans to expand its indications for KM-819, which completed phase 1 clinical trials with Parkinson's disease, and enter phase 2 clinical trials early.
KM-819 is a new drug candidate targeting FAS-associated factor 1, which inhibits the death of dopamine-secreting cells, thereby stopping the progression or slowing the progress of the disease.
“KM-819 has been shown to inhibit the accumulation of alpha-synuclein, the cause of MSA, which made us decide to expand indications into the drug candidate,” a company official said.
Kainos has appointed Lee Jong-shik of the department of neurology at Asan Medical Center to head the research.
“In this clinical trial, we plan to confirm the possibility of expanding the indications for the Parkinson's disease treatment candidate, and study the efficacy of medication in treating MSA by conducting human brain tissue and animal model tests,” Kainos Medicine CEO Lee Ki-sub said.
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