ANKAR PHARMA’s drug candidate aimed to multiple sclerosis is AP-1, a first-in-class small molecule with a dual innovative mechanism of action and high activity in preclinical models. Our therapeutic approach is considered MS as a neurodegenerative disease by interfering with AP-1 in several pathological pathways that prevent or avoid the oligodendrocytes death. AP-1 has shown high activity in all key components associated to MS in the worldwide accepted model of MS: the experimental allergic encephalitis (EAE) one. AP-1 is able to decrease the clinical symptoms (neurological score) in the EAE model after chronic preventive treatment or, in the worst situation, when the compound is administered at the peak of the disease. The efficacy in this murine model is similar or better that the produced by fingolimod, the most recent approved drug for MS orally treatment. Moreover, AP-1 is able to reduce inflammation, protects olygodendrocyte from death and promotes their gowth and it is able to increase remyelinization. AP-1 penetrates in the brain and can be orally administered. AP-1 has a good profile compatible with clinical trials.
Currently, AP-1 is under preclinical development to reach clinical trials for MS soon. ANKAR PHARMA is actively seeking for pharmaceutical’s partners in this project.
The mechanism of action targeted by AP-1 is also involved in many other neurological diseases being a good drug candidate for protect the nervous systems from different insults. As the eye is the external organ of the brain and one of the main nerves demyelinizated by MS is the optical nerve, ANKAR PHARMA is also exploring the potential of AP-1 in ophthalmic diseases. The good results found with AP-1 in different ex vivo and in vivo models may help its future development for retinal diseases.