Biotechnology company Kineta, Inc, recently announced that a clinical trial will begin in the coming months for an experimental treatment for patients with PsA.
The drug, dubbed ShK-186, has a novel mechanism of action as a selective and potent blocker of the voltage-gated Kv1.3 potassium channel. The channel is vital for the activation of effector-memory T cells, which have been implicated in various autoimmune diseases.
ShK-186, which is the first Kv1.3 specific inhibitor to advance into human clinical trials, is also being evaluated as a potential treatment for other autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, lupus, type 1 diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel diseases, and eye diseases.
Kineta recently opened a phase 1B proof-of-concept clinical trial for the treatment of psoriasis with the drug. The trial will evaluate the effects of biweekly injections of ShK-186 in patients with active plaque psoriasis for 4 weeks. Patients will be monitored for safety end points, evaluation of redness, scaling, and lesion thickness, in addition to inflammatory biomarker activity in the blood and skin biopsy tissue.
“Initiating this trial is another milestone in the clinical development of this novel compound,” Charles Magness, Kineta chief executive officer and president, said in a press release. “Patients with autoimmune diseases desperately need new treatments that effectively address the disease without harmful side effects.”