Last week, biotechnology company Anokion SA (“Anokion”) announced the FDA’s acceptance of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application. Anokion submitted the IND for ANK-700, a therapy for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Currently, there is no cure for MS. However, symptoms can be treated. ANK-700 is an antigen-specific drug designed to broaden the range of therapeutic interventions. According to Anokion CMO:
ANK-700 aims to re-educate the immune system [by inducing] antigen-specific tolerance to [central nervous system] auto antigens.
Additionally, ANK-700 reduces neuroinflammation, or an inflammatory response in the brain or spinal cord. In preclinical studies, the drug inhibiting multiple sclerosis disease progression. Perhaps more promising, it prompted remission in mice models with active MS and even prevented disease onset in mice models of MS whose symptoms had not yet begun.
As of right now, ANK-700 has not been tested on human patients. However, Anokion plans to hold a Phase 1 clinical trial before the end of 2020.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Considered both a neurological disease and potential autoimmune disorder, multiple sclerosis impacts the communication between your brain and the rest of your body. There is a protective covering called the myelin sheath on nerve cells. In patients with multiple sclerosis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath, contributing to poor or slowed communication.
Altogether, there are two main forms of multiple sclerosis. In progressive multiple sclerosis, patients experience no periods of remission. Alternately, those with relapsing and remitting MS experience periods of severe symptoms as well as periods of remission. An estimated 2.3 million people across the globe have multiple sclerosis. Symptom onset usually occurs between age 15 and 60. Females are 2x more likely to have MS than males.
- Eye or back pain
- Poor bladder control
- Changes in speech and vision
- Loss of coordination
- Depression and anxiety
- Muscle weakness and rigidity
- Excessive urination
- Balance problems
Learn more about multiple sclerosis here.