Alkahest reveals clinical trial progress

Alkahest pipeline sees multiple therapeutic candidates progressing through clinical trials.

Biopharmaceutical company Alkahest has released details of its progress on a range of therapeutic candidates; dedicated to discovering and developing treatments for neurodegenerative and age-related diseases, Alkahest researches transformative therapies that target the aging plasma proteome.

Longevity.Technology: Despite the obstacles thrown in Alkahest’s path by the pandemic, 2020 has been a healthy year for its research; from therapies for renal disease, through to Parkinson’s, they have been working on a range of treatments that will extend life, as well as extend the quality of that life. We are encouraged by their progress in clinical trials. We spoke with Karoly Nikolich, CEO of Alkahest.

Alkahest has successfully completed three Phase 1 and 2 studies to date in 2020 which further the mechanistic and clinical understanding of two of their candidate therapeutics, GRF6019 and AKST4290. Working with Grifols, a global healthcare company and leading producer of plasma therapies, Alkahest is developing novel plasma-based therapies.

Grifols invested $35m into Alkahest back in 2015; the California-based company’s mission is: to enrich the health and vitality of humankind through transformative therapies that counterbalance the aging process.


 

“… we have recognized the importance of targeting the underlying drivers of aging in order to deliver more effective treatments …”

 


 

GRF6019 and GRF6021, proprietary plasma fractions, have shown enhanced neurogenesis, age-related deficits in learning and memory improvement, and neuroinflammation reduction in animal models. Research into the use of these therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-operative recovery and other indications are being explored. Clinical trials have shown GRF6019 is safe and well-tolerated, although additional biomarker analyses are still underway.

Alkahest CEO Karoly Nikolich and Elizabeth Jeffords Longevity Technology
Chief Executive Officer Karoly Nikolich and colleague at the company’s headquarters in San Carlos

Speaking to Longevity.Technology, Karoly Nikolich, PhD, CEO of Alkahest, said he was pleased with the progress. “The continued development of our clinical candidates and the promising outcomes we have seen in our clinical trials to date speaks to the potential of our approach to treating diseases of aging,” he said. “We have pioneered the identification of key drivers of age-related diseases through mining the plasma proteome.

“From this vast knowledge base, we have recognized the importance of targeting the underlying drivers of aging in order to deliver more effective treatments to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, wet age-related macular degeneration and other neurodegenerative diseases of aging. We hope that our forward clinical progress brings additional attention and investment to the longevity space, as the demographic pressures of an aging population present both an significant opportunity as well as a huge unmet need for healthcare solutions.”

AKST4290 is an orally-administered CCR3 inhibitor that blocks the action of eotaxin, an immunomodulatory protein that increases as humans age and with specific age-related diseases. By targeting eotaxin and its downstream effects, AKST4290 may reduce the hallmark inflammation associated with many age-related diseases. A mechanistic trial investigating the impact of AKST4290 on choroidal blood flow (the vascular layer of the eye) has successfully completed, as had a drug-drug interaction study. Phase 2 trials are ongoing with AKST4290 in neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration and Parkinson’s disease.

AKST1210 is an extracorporeal device which is connected in series with a standard hemodialysis circuit to remove B2M from the blood. B2M is an immune-associated protein that has been demonstrated to impair cognition in animal models and may contribute to cognitive decline and other morbidities in patients undergoing hemodialysis for end stage renal disease.

Alkahest are on track to provide novel therapies for the detrimental biological processes of aging. It’s only halfway through the year and despite COVID-19, Alkahest has successfully completed three Phase 1 and 2 studies, with five others underway.

Image credit: Alkahest Inc.
Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

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