Inhibikase Therapeutics has designed a novel drug that is similar to the drug nilotinib – previously tested in people with Parkinson’s – but is better at reaching its target in the brain.

The biotech company Inhibikase Therapeutics has announced the first person has been treated in a clinical trial of their experimental drug ‘IkT-148009’ for Parkinson’s. The therapy is designed to inhibit a protein that is believed to be overly active in Parkinson’s called c-Abl.

C-Abl prevents cells from clearing waste compounds and therefore, when c-Abl is inactivated, normal cell function begins.

The History:

In 2016, a drug already in use to treat cancer was reported to have encouraging results in a small clinical study for Parkinson’s. The drug tested in that study was nilotinib, and its function is to inhibit c-Abl. C-Abl has been shown to be very active in some people with Parkinson’s, and nilotinib treatment resulted in improvements in models of Parkinson’s. This led to two large phase 2 clinical trials of nilotinib in Parkinson’s – one trial was supported by Cure Parkinson’s.

Inhibikase Therapeutics has designed a drug that is similar to nilotinib, but is better at accessing the brain. The new experimental therapy is called IkT-148009, and the phase I clinical trial has begun. This new study will evaluate the safety and tolerability of the drug in healthy volunteers. If the results are supportive, IkT-148009 will next be tested in people with Parkinson’s.

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