NIJMEGEN, Netherlands, Nov. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Khondrion, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing therapies targeting primary mitochondrial diseases, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office have granted patents covering the use of Khondrion's lead compound sonlicromanol as an [mPGES-1 inhibiting] anti-inflammatory agent.
Sonlicromanol works in three distinct ways by modulating oxidative and reductive distress, along with anti-inflammatory properties. The compound is currently under investigation for its effectiveness in treating adult patients diagnosed with primary mitochondrial disease due to the m.3243A>G mutation in their mitochondrial DNA. This mutation is linked to various conditions such as classical MELAS and MIDD syndromes, CPEO, and mixed phenotypes. Sonlicromanol targets the key underlying mechanisms shared by many mitochondrial diseases, including high levels of reactive oxygen species, disrupted redox metabolism, and inflammation induced by PGE2.
Research has demonstrated that sonlicromanol acts as a selective inhibitor of microsomal Prostaglandin E-synthase 1 (mPGES-1), contributing to its anti-inflammatory impact. Preclinical studies conducted in other disease models with elevated levels of cellular mPGES-1, such as particular prostate cancer cells, have displayed encouraging outcomes. These findings suggest a wider range of potential applications for sonlicromanol beyond its initial focus on primary mitochondrial diseases.
"The distinctive triple mode of action of sonlicromanol has the potential to play an important role not just in primary mitochondrial diseases but also in in a range of rare and more prevalent disorders," said Prof. dr. Jan Smeitink, Chief Executive Officer at Khondrion. "This US and European patent issuance significantly strengthen our intellectual property portfolio and stands as a crucial step in the broader development of sonlicromanol."
The US patent titled "Compounds as mPGES-1 inhibitors" was issued as U.S. patent No. 11,672,787 on June 13, 2023. Its European equivalent was granted on October 19, 2023 as EP 18808288.
Khondrion is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for patients with inherited mitochondrial diseases. Based on proprietary science and a deep biological understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction, the company is advancing its lead drug candidate sonlicromanol. Sonlicromanol is a first-in-class, oral small molecule targeting key underlying mechanisms of primary mitochondrial disease based on its uniquely differentiated triple mode of action: reductive distress modulation to help restore the cell's metabolism, oxidative distress modulation preventing ferroptotic cell death, and selective mPGES-1 inhibition resulting in anti-inflammatory effects. Based on the favourable benefit-risk profile shown across the clinical studies performed so far, Khondrion is finalizing the design of a global Phase 3 study which is currently foreseen to start in H2 2024.
The compound has been granted orphan drug designations for the treatment of MELAS, Leigh disease and patients with maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD) in Europe, and for all inherited mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders in the US. It has also been granted a Rare Pediatric Disease designation in the US for the treatment of MELAS.
Ongoing preclinical research of sonlicromanol shows potential broader applications of the drug in other rare diseases and more common disorders.
For more information visit www.khondrion.com.
About mitochondrial disease
Mitochondrial disease is caused by defective mitochondria, which are present in all cells of the human body and are responsible for generating the energy necessary for cells to function. This can lead to a wide range of serious and debilitating illnesses that can appear shortly after birth or later in life. Signs and symptoms of these conditions may include issues with thinking, learning difficulties, blindness, deafness, heart failure, diabetes, fatigue, intolerance to exercise, muscle weakness walking difficulties, and stunted growth.
Orphan diseases of the oxidative phosphorylation system like Leigh disease, MELAS (mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes) spectrum disorders including MIDD (maternally inherited diabetes and deafness), and other respiratory chain / oxidative phosphorylation disorders, are all examples of mitochondrial disease. MELAS spectrum disorders are some of the most frequently observed primary mitochondrial diseases, in which all patients are characterized by an underlying point mutation (m.3243A>G) in the maternally inherited MT-TL1 gene.
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements regarding, among other things, the results, conduct, progress and timing of the company's clinical trials and presentation of data from clinical trials for sonlicromanol. Although the company believes its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, all statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release about future events are subject to (i) change without notice and (ii) factors beyond the company's control. These statements may include, without limitation, any statements preceded by, followed by or including words such as "target," "believe," "expect," "aim," "goal," "intend," "may," "anticipate," "foreseen," "estimate," "plan," "project," "will," "can have," "likely," "potential," "should," "would," "could" and other words and terms of similar meaning or the negative thereof. Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties beyond the company's control that could cause the company's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the expected results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, the company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
Prof. Dr. Jan Smeitink, CEO
LifeSpring Life Sciences Communication, Amsterdam