Tags: toxin | sea anemone | autoimmune | disease | dalazatide

Drug Derived From Sea Anemone Shows Promise Against Psoriasis, MS

Tuesday, 05 May 2015 02:37 PM


A drug developed from the toxin of a sea anemone to treat autoimmune diseases like psoriasis and multiple sclerosis, showed promise in a phase 1 clinical trial.

The drug, called dalazatide, is being developed by Kineta Inc, and works differently from drugs currently used to treat immune disorders. They suppress the entire immune system, which puts patients at risk for infections, while dalazatide blocks only the white blood cells that trigger many autoimmune diseases.

"The results of this trial indicate an important advance in developing next-generation treatments for autoimmune disease that specifically regulate the immune response without broad immune suppression," Dr. Shawn Iadonato, Kineta’s chief scientific officer, told the Wall Street Journal.

Phase 1 trials are designed to test a drug's safety and tolerability using various dosages. Patients with psoriasis were given either 30 mg or 60 milligrams of dalazatide or a placebo by injections twice a week for four weeks.

Even though phase 1 trials are designed to test a drug's safety and tolerability, patients who received dalazatide, especially those getting the higher dosage, showed improvements in their psoriasis that continued during the month after the drug was stopped. In contrast, those patients taking a placebo experienced no changes.

Kineta hopes to begin recruiting patients next year for a phase 2 trial which will specifically test the drug's effectiveness.

"It's exciting. It does mean that there’s another new agent," Stephen Shumack, a clinical dermatologist and associate professor at the University of Sydney, in Australia, told the Wall Street Journal. "They’ve demonstrated in a very small study that this does have an effect."

The development of dalazatide is part of an ongoing effort to create medicines, including painkillers, from nature. Researchers have found, for example, that certain kinds of spider venom block the pathway that sends signals of pain from the nerves to the brain in a way that is non-addictive.

According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 23.5 million American suffer from autoimmune diseases for which there is no cure.

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A drug developed from the toxin of a sea anemone to treat autoimmune diseases like psoriasis and multiple sclerosis, showed promise in a phase 1 clinical trial. The drug, called dalazatide, is being developed by Kineta Inc, and works differently from drugs currently used...
toxin, sea anemone, autoimmune, disease, dalazatide
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2015-37-05
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 02:37 PM
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