Clinical-stage drug development company NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: NSB) has received positive preliminary results of lead drug candidate EmtinB in a gold standard animal model of Multiple sclerosis (MS).
The study was undertaken by leading contract research partner Biospective, Canada. It was conducted in the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (MOG-EAE) mouse model, the gold-standard animal model for replicating the inflammatory mechanisms of human MS.
The study evaluated EmtinB across four dose groups (5mg/kg, 10mg/kg, 20mg/kg, and 40mg/kg) with the drug administered daily for a period of 30-days following the onset of initial symptoms in the mice.
Improved Clinical Scores
Clinical scoring involves a standard system to assess the severity of MS symptoms. Mice treated with 10mg/kg and 20mg/kg doses of EmtinB consistently achieved lower clinical scores, indicating reduced disease severity, from the onset of symptoms and through to the peak of the disease in comparison to untreated controls.
Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is a biomarker associated with damaged neurons. EmtinB treated mice had lower concentrations of NfL in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and plasma samples in comparison to untreated controls.
Treatment Increased Myelin
Myelin is important for the efficient function of nerve cells. The destruction of myelin contributes to the onset of neurological dysfunction associated with MS. Mice treated with 10mg/kg and 20mg/kg consistently exhibited higher levels of myelin in comparison to untreated controls.
Reduced Chronic Inflammatory Immune Responses
The study assessed a number of markers associated with chronic inflammatory responses of MS. Fundamental to the dysfunctional immune responses of MS in humans, activated T cells (CD3+) penetrate the blood brain barrier and stimulate inflammatory responses of the CNS, activating resident immune defence cells such as microglia and macrophages (Iba-1), and astrocytes (GFAP).
Mice treated with EmtinB exhibited lower levels of activated T cells (CD3+), activated microglia and macrophages (Iba-1), and activated astrocytes (GFAP) across all dose groups in comparison to untreated controls.
The preliminary results from this study conducted in the gold standard animal model for MS are highly encouraging for the development of EmtinB as a treatment for MS, in particular the relapse-remitting type of MS in which inflammation is a key driver of symptoms,” Managing Director and CEO, Matt Liddelow, said.
“In comparison to currently marketed MS therapeutics, EmtinB has the potential to be a disease-modifying treatment option for MS patients with a much more tolerable side-effect profile.”
Based on these positive preliminary results, NeuroScientific will progress EmtinB into a larger study involving the MOG-EAE mouse model of MS and expects to report a full set of results midway through 2H 2022.