According to a news release from pharmaceutical company Citryll, the first healthy volunteer was dosed with CIT-013 in a Phase 1 clinical trial. Altogether, the drug is being developed to treat a range of autoimmune or chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), vasculitis, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). During the trial, researchers hope to evaluate the treatment’s safety, efficacy, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic profile.
So what exactly is CIT-013, and how can it be used to treat a variety of conditions? According to Citryll, CIT-013 is:
a first in class therapeutic antibody that targets Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NET) formation for the treatment of a range of human diseases.
CIT-013 is a humanized monoclonal antibody, or an antibody which combines a human antibody with a non-human species to improve its longevity and efficacy. Citryll explains that NETs play a part in the development and pathogenesis of many conditions. Thus, by clearing NETs from the body, CIT-013 works to reduce inflammation and toxicity and improve patient outcomes.
Within this Phase 1 clinical trial, researchers will explore a single ascending dose of CIT-013. Data from the study should be available for review, at least in part, by the end of this year.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
One of the conditions that Citryll hopes to address with CIT-013 is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic inflammatory disorder which negatively impacts joints. Typically, RA is considered an autoimmune disorder. Though doctors do not know the exact cause, the immune system mistakenly attacks joints and tissues, causing symptoms. Unfortunately, RA is difficult to predict. While it advances rapidly for some and slowly for others, some patients may experience a plateau of symptoms. Symptomatic “flares” occur, as do periods of remission. RA is 2-3x more common in females than in males. Symptoms include:
- Joint pain, stiffness, weakness, tenderness, or inflammation
- Back and muscle pain
- Difficulty partaking in daily activities (climbing, walking) or simple movements (gripping)
- Skin lumps or redness
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Fatigue and general malaise
- Swelling or bumps on the fingers
- “Pins and needles” sensation
- Dry mouth
- Joint deformity
- Bone erosion
Vasculitis, or blood vessel inflammation, is believed to be caused by an abnormal immune response in which the immune system mistakenly attacks blood vessels. However, infections, allergies, or medication hypersensitivity may also play a role. When vasculitis occurs, blood vessels may narrow and restrict blood flow, or stretch and weaken, causing aneurysms. There are multiple vasculitis subtypes and thus a range of symptoms and severity. However, some common symptoms include:
- Appetite loss
- Unintended weight loss
- Night sweats
- Blood clots
- Arthritic joints
- Lung or sinus inflammation
- Mouth ulcers
- General malaise
- Shortness of breath