SANTA ANA, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 16, 2016) - Io Therapeutics, Inc., today, reported data demonstrating that the company's experimental rexinoid nuclear receptor (RXR) agonist compound, IRX4204, promotes repair of myelin in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Myelin is a tissue in the brain and spinal cord which is damaged by an autoimmune process in MS, resulting in progressive disability and death. Finding new treatments, which promote repair of myelin is a major focus of current MS research. The company's data were presented at the 32nd Congress of The European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), currently being held in London, England. The reported studies were supported by funding from the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Fast Forward Program.
About RXR in MS and the Effects of IRX4204
In MS, autoimmune processes damage the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers, resulting in dysfunction of signal transmission in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin damage contributes to physical disability in MS patients. Many currently available treatments for MS target the autoimmune processes, but to date, none have been conclusively demonstrated to promote repair of damaged myelin in MS patients.
The company has previously reported that IRX4204 has beneficial effects on autoimmunity, and protects against loss of neurons, in animal models of MS. The current data, showing that IRX4204 promotes repair of damaged myelin in an animal model of MS, demonstrates a third critically important mechanism of action of the drug as a promising potential treatment for MS.
"The Society is pleased with the rapid progress made by Io Therapeutics, enabling presentation of their data at ECTRIMS, a major research conference, so soon after initiating the project," said Mark Allegretta, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Commercial Research for the National MS Society. He continued, "In addition, we are encouraged by their data demonstrating that IRX4204 has the potential not only to suppress the autoimmune aspect of MS-like disease in mice, but also to protect against neuronal loss and promote repair of damaged myelin, thereby possibly slowing or even stopping progression of the disease."
Dr. Martin E. Sanders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Io Therapeutics said, "Io Therapeutics is grateful to the National MS Society Fast Forward Program for its support of the company's evaluation of IRX4204 as a new treatment for MS. We are impressed at the preclinical results we have obtained, which demonstrate immunosuppressive, neuroprotective, and myelin reparative activities in a single compound, a unique and promising pharmacologic profile for a candidate treatment for MS. IRX4204 has already completed phase 1 clinical trials in other indications, in which it was safe and well tolerated. We are eager to advance IRX4204 into phase 2 clinical trials in MS patients."
About Io Therapeutics
Io Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in Santa Ana, California, focused on the development of novel treatments for cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and autoimmune diseases.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The Society mobilizes people and resources so that everyone affected by multiple sclerosis can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever. Last year alone, through its comprehensive nationwide network of services, the Society devoted $122.2 million to connect more than million individuals to the people, information and resources they need. To move closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $56 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world. We are united in our collective power to do something about MS now and end this disease forever. Learn more at www.nationalMSsociety.org.
About Fast Forward
Fast Forward, LLC is a nonprofit organization established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in order to accelerate the development of treatments for MS. Fast Forward connects university-based MS research with private-sector drug development and funds small biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative MS therapies and repurpose FDA-approved drugs as new treatments for MS.
Forward Looking Statements
This new release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
For more information on Io Therapeutics see: www.io-therapeutics.com