Birdshot Uveitis Society recently read about a new drug which is being developed and below is information that has been provided to us by the company developing the drug.
A drug candidate in the clinical pipeline for psoriasis may also one day be a treatment for uveitis. The experimental drug, called dalazatide (formerly known as ShK-186), is being developed by Kineta, Inc. a biotechnology company in Seattle. Dr. Ernesto J. Muñoz, Associate Director for Translational Immunology at Kineta, led the company’s latest research study focused on uveitis. “Our work using a model of anterior uveitis shows that dalazatide is able to prevent disease and the inflammation that comes with it,” Dr. Muñoz said. The study was conducted in rats utilizing a well accepted model of uveitis. The Kineta researcher sees potential for this work to translate to several autoimmune eye diseases including chronic anterior uveitis, Birdshot uveitis, Sjögren’s syndrome and dry-eye disease.
Dalazatide is significantly different from other drugs currently available for autoimmune diseases and autoimmune eye diseases. It is designed to target a subset of immune cells that cause autoimmune inflammation, without shutting down the greater immune system. The hope is that dalazatide will not only be more effective, but safer too.
Kineta intends to form a partnership with a larger pharmaceutical company to bring dalazatide into later-stage clinical trials and eventually to the market. Because it targets pathogenic T cells that bring about inflammation, the experimental drug may eventually reach beyond psoriasis and address many more autoimmune diseases. In addition to psoriasis, researchers say the drug candidate also has excellent potential for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma and uveitis. These diseases all share the common central issue of autoimmune inflammation and that is what dalazatide is designed to target.
It is very early days and impossible to tell at this stage if the drug will be a useful tool for people with Birdshot. A lot of work needs to be done to test the safety and efficacy of the treatment, but we look forward to future developments with interest.