Cyxone is developing T20K, currently in early clinical development for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
There is no curative treatment available for MS, and most existing therapies are only moderately effective in preventing relapses, with limited impact on the increase in disability over time. This means that most patients still experience relapses and need life-long treatment.
In addition to efficacy, there is a need to develop better tolerated therapies that are safer for MS patients. Many current therapies are associated with a higher risk of serious side effects.
More convenient routes of administration and decreased dosing frequency is also unmet needs within the MS market. Most first-line treatments need to be administered as infusions or injections at high frequencies, which can be inconvenient for the patients.
T20K inhibits T cell proliferation by modulating IL-2 release as well as IL-2R/CD25 surface expression and effector activity performance (Gründemann et al. 2013; Thell et al. 2014). IL-2 is a cytokine with an important role in T lymphocyte activation and T cell proliferation. Enhanced or continuous T cell activation is a major driver of many autoimmune disorders and can cause persistent inflammation resulting in tissue and organ damage.
IL-2 is a well-known cytokine involved in the break-down of myelin. In a preclinical model of multiple sclerosis (EAE model), T20K significantly delays onset as well as severity of clinical symptom. This is a potentially disease preventing mechanism and T20K could thus be effective in slowing down the disease progression and even preventing disease flares and postponing the need of second-line treatments. Initial preclinical data suggest that T20K has long-lasting effects and is efficacious at low doses and thus administration does not have to be frequent.