AB Science announced that abstracts reporting the use of Kinavet (masitinib) in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were selected for oral presentation at six international meetings in 2017. The abstracts include both preclinical and clinical data.
The meetings include:
- XXIII World Congress of Neurology (WCN 2017) in Kyoto, Japan, on Sept. 19;
- 16th Annual NEALS Meeting in Clearwater Beach, Florida, on Oct. 4;
- 142nd American Neurological Association (ANA) Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, Oct. 15-16;
- 69th Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN) Annual Meeting in Valencia, Spain, on Nov. 4;
- World Federation of Neurology Research Group on ALS/MND Satellite Symposium in Boston, on Dec. 7;
- 28th International Symposium on ALS/MND in Boston, Dec. 8-9.
Kinavet, a cancer drug used in dogs, was pulled off the market in December 2015 because there was no evidence that it met the standard of effectiveness. But more recent data suggest that it might have a beneficial effect on patients with ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
At a molecular level, Kinavet inhibits the function of mast cells by targeting certain tyrosine kinases. Mast cells are white blood cells that participate in inflammatory and allergic reactions.
These types of cells also seem to be associated with the loss of nerve cells in the neuromuscular junction during the progression of paralysis, which is characterized by morphological changes in Schwann cells and capillary networks. Kinavet is thought to prevent these alterations.
Another Kinavet target, aberrant microglia, is involved in the neuronal death observed in neurodegenerative diseases, such as sporadic ALS.
Studies have demonstrated the potential of using Kinavet to treat Alzheimer’s disease, ischemic brain stroke, and depression in patients where degradation of mast cells is encountered.
Also, preclinical data have shown that targeting tyrosine kinase receptors in diseased glial and immune cells using Kinavet has positive effects in ALS patients. This is indicative of a drug-related protective effect in both the central and peripheral nervous systems.
A Phase 3 study presented last May at the 2017 annual meeting of the European Network to Cure ALS confirmed preclinical findings and showed that Kinavet improved patients’ functioning when added to standard treatment Rilutek (riluzole).
The new data concerning the possible target mechanisms and the effects of Kinavet in ALS patients support this medication as a promising potential neurodegenerative disease management therapy.