French pharmaceutical company AB Science SA has organized a web conference to present information on its lead product for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a drug therapy called masitinib. The seminar held by AB Science, which is specialized in developing and commercializing protein kinase inhibitors (PKIs), took place on May 11th and included opinion leaders in the field.
During the conference, the company presented data on the current positioning of the drug treatment, as well as scientific reasons to develop it for the treatment of ALS. In addition, AB Science also provided new and updated data on its ongoing phase 3 clinical trial that aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of masitinib and the company’s evaluation of the therapy’s market potential.
The experts Luis Barbeito from the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo in Uruguay, Benjamin Brooks from the Department of Neurology at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Conrado Estol from the STAT Research in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Olivier Hermine from the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Necker University Hospital in Paris, France, and Jesus S. Mora from the ALS Unit at Hospital Carlos III in Madrid, Spain participated in the Q&A session.
The novel, orally administered PKI masitinib was designed to target mast cells and macrophages by inhibiting kinases, which are important cells in the immune system. The experimental drug’s specific mechanism of action is expected to help patients who suffer from a series of oncology conditions, in addition to diseases of the central nervous system and inflammatory conditions. According to the company, Masitinib, alone or in combination, has shown evidence of having a positive effect on survival in ALS. The therapy can inhibit the inflammatory process and has positive effects concerning the degeneration related with these conditions.
Last March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted masitinib the orphan drug designation for the treatment of ALS in order to accelerate its development and address a rare condition with severely unmet needs. AB Science’s therapy was selected to receive the orphan drug designation based on applications reviewed by the Office of Orphan Drug Products Development at the FDA. The status is granted to promising medications focused on treating a condition that affects less than 200,000 patients in the U.S.