In 2015 the investment fund Accequa AB acquired the rights to the cyclotide technology developed at the Medical University of Vienna in cooperation with the University Clinic in Freiburg. Cyxone was founded to develop this cyclotide technology and a new drug candidate, T20K, for multiple sclerosis. The goal is to complete Phase I studies in humans during 2018.
The first documented observation on a pharmaceutical effect of a cyclotide was when a Norwegian doctor, Lorents Gran, noted that during labor African women used a medicinal tea made from the leaves of the plant Oldenlandia affinis to induce labor and facilitate childbirth. The active ingredient was later determined to be a peptide, named kalata B1, after the traditional name for the native medicine, kalata-kalata.
Cyclotides are considered ideal “template” molecules for developing a variety of novel drugs because of their good oral availability, excellent biological stability and for the high number of new structures that be created.
Cyclotides can potentially become a new class of highly specific, low toxicity drugs for several immune-related diseases and cancers.
Diseases that may be treated by cyclotide drugs include major autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis as well as various cancer forms and organ rejection.
Autoimmune diseases include many serious chronic conditions for which there is still no cure. Current drugs can reduce symptoms of disease but are often associated with severe side effects limiting their long term use. There is a great unmet need for new effective drugs with low toxicity in autoimmune diseases
Multiple sclerosis is a life-long autoimmune disease for which new, orally effective and safe drugs would be a great benefit.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, autoimmune disease which leads to increasing difficulties for the patients to live a normal life. Today MS medications can only be given during the acute "episodes" of MS and they sometimes have severe side effects.
Cyxone develops a new type of MS medicine based on a modified plant protein called cyclotides. Studies at the Medical University in Vienna have shown good effect on MS in animals and the compound has a comparably low toxicity. Good efficacy and low toxicity in animal models make us believe that we will be able to offer people affected by MS a long life with high quality of life.