OKYO Pharma Limited (LSE: OKYO) a biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation therapeutics to improve the lives of patients with inflammatory eye diseases and chronic pain today announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2020.
- Total assets increased to £5.8 million (30 March 2020: £0.5 million)
- Cash on hand of £5.8 million (30 March 2020: £0.2 million)
- During the financial period under review, the Company reported a total comprehensive loss of £0.92 million (restated 30 September 2019: £1.33 million).
Group’s focus is to develop drugs for inflammatory dry eye diseases and chronic pain by targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs is the largest family of membrane proteins involved in many biological processes. Targeting GPCR is proven to be an innovative approach for treatment of a wide range of conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Approximately 1/3 of all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs target members of this family.
The Chemerin receptor (CMKLR1 or ChemR23) is a chemokine like G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) expressed on select populations of cells including inflammatory mediators as well as epithelial cells. Chemerin acts as a ligand for Chem23 receptor and activates proinflammatory pathways through GPCR signaling. Inflammation is the most common underlying cause of dry eye disease (DED). Therefore, anti-inflammatory treatment is important in improving dry eye symptoms. A 15-aa peptide derived from chemerin (Chem-15) exhibited potent anti-inflammatory properties in in vitro and in vivo models of inflammation that are mediated through ChemR23. OKYO is developing novel chemerin derived peptides for dry eye treatment.
A proprietary GPCR agonist of Chem23 (OK-113), which was discovered in-house, showed potent anti-inflammatory activity in an experimental model of DED in mice. Topical treatment, as eye drops, with OK-113 reduced corneal permeability and other symptoms of dry eye in a mouse model of DED. OK-113 is currently being evaluated for safety and toxicity in a rabbit model. The demonstration of potent anti-inflammatory activity in the mouse model of DED and the results exhibiting absence of local irritation in a rabbit model will be important basis for the initiation of the upcoming Investigational New Drug (“IND”) enabling studies, and subsequently to IND submission of Chemerin for DED indication. Anticipated IND-submission date for Chemerin is December 2021.
Human Mas-Related G Protein-coupled Receptor (MRGPR) is a promising target for blocking pain since it is mainly expressed in nociceptors within the peripheral nervous system. Bovine Adrenal Medulla 8–22 (BAM8-22), a 15 amino acid endogenous peptide, is an agonist of human MRGPRX1. BAM8-22 does not contain the met-enkephalin motif; therefore, it displays no affinity for opioid receptors. MRGPR knock out mice studies suggested that BAM8-22 blocks both inflammatory and neuropathic pain in mice after nerve injury suggesting that agonists for MRGPR may represent a class of non-opioid analgesics for treating chronic pain with minimal side effects because of the highly specific expression of these receptors.
On 2nd February 2018, the company obtained the license agreement from Tufts Medical Center of the right to exploit all the intellectual property claimed in patent application PCT/US2016/0611101 ‘Lipidated BAM8 and methods of using same’ being claims in composition of matter and methodology for treating symptoms of neuropathic chronic pain, ocular pain and uveitis associated pain. OKYO has identified novel Bam8-22 analogs that have potential to ameliorate inflammation and neuropathic pain.
A collaborative agreement was signed with Pedram Hamrah, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA on August 6, 2019 to evaluate OKYO’s proprietary lead compounds as non-opioid analgesics to suppress corneal neuropathic pain using a mouse ocular pain model recently developed in Dr. Hamrah’s laboratory. These collaborative studies will provide additional ‘Proof-of-Concept’ results for the Bam8-22 analogs as potential non-opioid analgesics.
OKYO Pharma Limited
+44 (0)20 7495 2379
Optiva Securities Limited
+44 (0)20 7408 4050
OKYO Pharma Limited (LSE: OKYO) is a life sciences and biotechnology company admitted to listing on the standard segment of the Official List of the UK Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the Main Market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange plc. OKYO is focusing on the discovery and development of novel molecules to treat inflammatory dry eye diseases and chronic pain.