Lpath Inc., the industry leader in bioactive lipid-targeted therapeutics, and scientists from the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), have initiated a study that is the focus of a collaborative research agreement.
The collaboration involves the use of Lpathomab, an antibody to lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), in the treatment of brain injury induced by blast overpressure. The investigators at WRAIR are Dr. Joseph Long, a U.S. Army civilian and chief, Blast Induced Neurotrauma Branch Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at WRAIR, and Dr. Peetthambaran Arun, from Clinical RM, both of whom have published widely in the area.
The use of improvised explosive devices and hand-held grenades in recent wars has increased the incidence of blast traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is a major cause of disability among service members. The prevalence of concussions in soldiers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan has been estimated at approximately 19.6%, and accounts for 150,000 casualties. Blast TBI is the leading source of long-term rehabilitation problems suffered by veterans (e.g. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD) and is a leading cause of death in military personnel after returning home from theatre. There are currently no FDA-approved drug treatments for any form of TBI.
Lpathomab works as a molecular sponge by soaking up LPA, a molecule that can damage neurons and promote dangerous inflammatory responses in the central nervous system. Lpath and collaborators recently published work showing that Lpathomab reverses much of the damage caused by trauma to the nervous system in a controlled cortical-impact model of TBI in mice (Journal of Neuroinflammation). The Lpath-WRAIR collaboration will extend those studies to determine if Lpathomab can be used to reduce the size of a blast TBI and to improve functional behavioral outcomes in experimental animal models.
Lpath is currently conducting IND-enabling studies for Lpathomab and intends to enter Phase 1 clinical trials in early 2015 for neuropathic pain and neurotrauma.
Lpathomab was generated using Lpath’s proprietary ImmuneY2 technology, a drug-discovery engine that provides Lpath with a platform to generate antibodies against bioactive lipids, opening up a new array of unique therapeutic opportunities. About 1,000 bioactive members of the lipidome are believed to exist, but the number could be considerably larger as the study of lipidomics continues to expand. Nature Reviews stated that bioactive lipids promise to occupy center-stage in cell biology research in the twenty-first century.
Lpath utilized its proprietary ImmuneY2 drug-discovery technology to discover an antibody against another bioactive lipid, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). This antibody, sonepcizumab, is formulated as iSonep for ocular delivery and as Asonep for systemic delivery. In addition, the ImmuneY2 platform was used to generate Altepan, an antibody against key leukotrienes that have been implicated in various respiratory diseases, including asthma.
Date: April 23, 2014
Filed Under: Drug Discovery