Stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Treatment options for stroke are few in number and limited in efficacy. Microglia, the brain's resident immune cells, and infiltrating peripheral immune cells are a major component of stroke pathophysiology. Interfering with the inflammation cascade after stroke holds the promise to improve stroke outcome.
More information can be found here.
Existing treatments for neuropathic pain provide effective relief to only 1 in 4 patients. The majority of these treatments are aimed at targets expressed by neurons of the somatosensory system (e.g. opioid receptors and α2δ subunit of calcium channels). Expression of these targets in other areas of the CNS are believed to underlie their propensity to cause side effects such as sedation, euphoria and addiction. Recent studies have shown that brain resident immune cells also contribute to the establishment and maintenance of tactile allodynia in rodent models of neuropathic pain. Therefore, targeting these immune cells is a promising novel therapeutic option for patients with Neuropathic pain. More information can be found here and here.
Senicapoc and KCa3.1
KCa3.1 is only expressed in the injured tissues of the nervous system where it potentiates multiple immune cell responses to injury and infection. Therefore, inhibiting KCa3.1 would only suppress the response of immune cells to injury with minimal effect on neurons or other immune cell functions. Senicapoc (a KCa3.1 inhibitor) is a potent and selective inhibitor of KCa3.1 that readily enters the brain. It was initially developed for the treatment of sickle cell anemia and was well tolerated in Phase I, II and III clinical trials in both healthy volunteers and in patients with sickle cell disease. In the Phase 3 trial, senicapoc was shown to engage the target (KCa3.1) but it had no effect on the primary outcome. We have filed patents that cover the use of senicapoc to treat stroke and neuropathic pain. At Paracelsus Neuroscience we are dedicated to developing senicapoc for the treatment of stroke and neuropathic pain, and have assembled a team with strong scientific, clinical and regulatory intellectual property, business and commercialization expertise. More information about senicapoc can be found here.
More information about KCa3.1 can be found here.