July 2, 2019

Orion Biotechnology’s CCR5 Blocker OB-002 Shows Strong Efficacy in a New Preclinical Model of Multiple Sclerosis

OTTAWA, Ontario, July 2, 2019 (Newswire.com) – Orion Biotechnology Canada Ltd., today announced the publication of preclinical data evaluating the efficacy of OB-002 (5P12-RANTES) in a murine model of multiple sclerosis in Science Translation Medicine [1].

Viral infection early in life is a key element in determining the risk of subsequent development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Scientists from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University Hospitals of Geneva led by Professor Doron Merkler have published a high-profile paper describing a new preclinical MS model that incorporates early life viral infection in the brain. In this model, sites of cleared virus become lesion sites associated with MS-like pathology when experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is subsequently induced. EAE lesions contain high levels of inflammatory leukocytes that infiltrate because the sites of cleared virus are long-term sites of production of CCL5, a natural ligand of the chemokine receptor CCR5. Systemic administration of Orion Biotechnology’s best-in-class CCR5 blocker OB-002 was sufficient to fully block both the development of these leukocyte-infiltrated lesions and the associated pathology.

“It is very exciting to have identified a possible pathway linking virus infection early in life to MS pathology, and intriguing that it should be dependent on the activation of a single chemokine receptor,” said Prof. Merkler.

“We are thrilled to see that OB-002 shows such high efficacy in this preclinical context,” said Professor Oliver Hartley, a co-author of the paper from the University of Geneva, and Vice-President for Drug Discovery at Orion Biotechnology. “These data provide a clear rationale to move forward with the development of OB-002 as novel agent for the treatment of MS.”

Mark Groper, President & CEO of Orion Biotechnology, commented, “We are pleased to be working with the University of Geneva and look forward to further collaboration based on these encouraging preclinical findings.”

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