There are significant unmet medical needs in many neurological diseases, including pain, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's Disease. Plexxikon is pursuing a number of different target classes with its unique platform approach to develop novel agents to treat these debilitating diseases.
In the U.S., currently there are 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer's Disease (AD), of which two-thirds are women and 200,000 are under the age of 65. By 2050, it is estimated that 16 million Americans will have AD. AD is the only disease in the top 10 in America for which there is no cure, prevention or way to slow progression.
Plexxikon is developing a portfolio of novel, oral and selective kinase inhibitors that target the FMS kinase. FMS kinase plays a key role in neuro-inflammatory diseases such as AD. Importantly, Plexxikon has designed inhibitors that have the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, a key capability in designing a treatment for any neuro-inflammatory disease. In preclinical studies, Plexxikon inhibitors have demonstrated a reduction in microglia in brain plaques, and in neuro-inflammation in a neuronal loss model. More importantly, Plexxikon inhibitors have demonstrated an improvement in memory and learning recognition in several gold standard AD models.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system, affecting more than 2.5 million people worldwide.
In preclinical studies, Plexxikon's FMS inhibitors have eliminated macrophage and microglial infiltration, and demonstrated significant improvement in disease scores in relevant models of MS. Plexxikon FMS inhibitors represent a first-in-class disease modifying agent (DMARD) for the treatment of this neuro-degenerative disease.
Plexxikon also has developed oral, novel PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) pan-agonist compounds and evaluated these compounds in relevant models of MS. In preclinical studies, these compounds have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as the ability to promote myelin synthesis.