Innovative ENO1 monoclonal to treat multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disabling immune disease occurred in the central nervous system. In MS patients, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath of nerve fibers and causes the nerves to deteriorate becoming permanently damaged. The symptoms of MS vary widely and can affect many parts of the body. The main symptoms of MS include fatigue, difficulty in walking, muscle stiffness and spasms, problems with balance and move co-ordination. Currently, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis. MS can be divided into four categories based on clinical criteria: relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS).
The incidence of multiple sclerosis varies with geographical locations. It has been noted that multiple sclerosis occurs more frequently in North America and Western Europe but less in subtropical area. Genetic factors also play an important role in the cause of multiple sclerosis. Besides, lack of vitamin D and infection of Epstein-Barr virus could be associated with MS as well.
The drug market for MS is huge. It reached U$ 15 billion in the third quarter of 2015. But none of the current MS drugs can completely cure this disease. At most, these drugs can only relieve symptoms or reduce the frequency of disease onset. Besides, these drugs not only have insufficient efficacy, but also cause side effects such as cardiovascular damage, cytotoxicity, adventitious infection, or lymphocytopenia. Therefore, there is an urgent medical need to develop new drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
ENO1 is a unique target expressed on the activated macrophages. Its unique biological function plays a key role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. ENO1 mainly serves as the plasminogen receptor to activate the UPAS urokinase plasminogen activation system. Upon activation, it will lead to the breakdown of the surrounding extracellular matrix and cause the migration of monocytes across the blood vessel into central nerve system, which can further activate T cell for immune activation. It has been demonstrated in animal studies that ENO1 antibody can prevent macrophages from causing damage in the central nerve system and thus decrease the disease progression of multiple sclerosis. Given the unique mechanism of action (MOA), the ENO1 antibody (HuL001) would be the first-in-class drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
HuniLife licensed the ENO1 antibody technology from Development Center for Biotechnology and National Health Research Institute. The novel ENO1 antibody (HuL001) has unique binding epitopes of ENO1, and is able to suppress cell migration by blocking the activity of the plasminogen receptor from ENO1. The animal study demonstrated that HuL001 was efficacious in treating multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis and can also inhibit the metastasis of lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. HuL001 is proven safe according to the preclinical study and could be the first therapeutic antibody developed to target monocytes. HuniLife believes that the novel HuL001 has a wide range of clinical application including multiple sclerosis and cancer.