A new study has begun in Australia to assess a drug candidate called GNbAC1 in treating type 1 diabetes.
GNbAC1 is an antibody designed to inhibit a protein called MSRV-Env that has been detected in the pancreases of people with type 1 diabetes.
The antibody will be tested on 60 patients recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and researchers will examine a plenitude of health markers, such as insulin production, as well as how the GNbAC1 antibody affects MSRV-Env biomarkers.
“Our preclinical studies have showed that MSRV-Env causes a dose-dependent inhibition of insulin production, both in vitro and in animal models,” said Herve Perro, Chief Scientific Officer of GeNeuro, which developed GNbAC1.
“In type 1 diabetes, MSRV-Env has been found in the pancreas of over 50 percent of patients post-mortem.”
This data, Perron added, will be published later in 2017 and could provide a “compelling rationale” to begin larger clinical studies assessing GNbAC1 in people with type 1 diabetes.
The GNbAC1 antibody could also have applications beyond type 1 diabetes, for other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
A separate study is currently evaluating how GNbA1c affects patients with MS, with evidence showing MSRV-Env could be a potential causal factor of the disease.
“Our extensive research on human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) has suggested that there could be a causal role for MSRV-Env in other autoimmune diseases in addition to our lead program in multiple sclerosis,” said Perron.
Jesus Martin-Garcia, Chairman and CEO of GeNeuro, is exciting to begin this new avenue of treatment within autoimmune diseases.
“The start of this T1D clinical study is a significant step for GeNeuro, as we open a new avenue of treatment for T1D patients addressing a potential cause of this disease, just as we are doing in our MS clinical studies,” he said.
Patient enrolment for the T1D study is expected to be completed at the end of 2017, with findings expected during late-2018.

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