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Transparency Life Sciences (TLS), the world’s first drug development company based on open innovation and crowdsourcing, announced that it has concluded an agreement with Stanford University giving the company an exclusive option to license intellectual property covering the use of lisinopril as a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS).
Separately, TLS announced that MS expert Dr. Lawrence Steinman, the George A. Zimmermann Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences & Pediatrics at the Stanford School of Medicine and Chair of the TLS Scientific Advisory Board, presented preclinical data on the potential of lisinopril in MS at a recent Gordon Conference.
“This is an exciting development for those of us who have been exploring the potential of lisinopril as a treatment for MS,” noted Professor Steinman. “We have assembled a substantial body of preclinical data that confirms the role of the angiotensin system in the pathology of MS, along with evidence that the widely used ACE inhibitor lisinopril can modulate those effects in target-specific ways.
We are delighted that drug development game-changer Transparency Life Sciences has chosen lisinopril as its first development candidate, enabling us to test whether these provocative preclinical findings can translate into a safe and affordable new therapeutic option for MS patients.”
Interested individuals are invited to contribute to the design of the protocol for the Phase II trial of lisinopril in multiple sclerosis. The protocol template is currently available on a prototype of the company’s crowdsourced web platform that allows patients, physicians, researchers and others to participate in the design of clinical studies for compounds that TLS has in-licensed for development.
Tomasz Sablinski, M.D., Ph.D., founding CEO of TLS, noted, “Lisinopril is an inexpensive and effective drug that has been used safely by millions of people around the world to control their high blood pressure. A growing body of evidence suggests that it could also play an important role in helping to control the complex immunological and inflammatory processes associated with MS.
Lisinopril is an ideal candidate for our strategy of radically redesigning the clinical trial process to assess the potential of drugs that might otherwise never be tested. We invite anyone with an interest in helping to advance MS therapy to visit our website and contribute to the design process.”
The work of Dr. Steinman and others has demonstrated that both angiotensin receptors and an angiotensin-producing enzyme are abundant at sites of disease and inflammation in brains affected by multiple sclerosis. In animal models of MS, studies have shown that blockade of these receptors with the angiotensin inhibitor lisinopril reduces the areas affected by pathology and provides significant clinical benefits, including reduction in paralysis and improved mobility.
In these studies, lisinopril reduced molecular measures of inflammation that accompany MS, yet it did not inhibit overall immune function. In addition, lisinopril triggered proliferation of regulatory T cells, which are known to help moderate or prevent autoimmune disease.
Transparency’s game-changing approach is based on three principles. First, crowdsourcing is being employed to design clinical protocols with the participation of patients, medical experts, front-line physicians and others, which is expected to result in protocols focused on those parameters most relevant to actual clinical practice.
Second, Transparency is leveraging telemedicine and related technologies to reduce burdens on clinical trial subjects, enhance data quality and reduce costs. Third, TLS is committed to demonstrating how data transparency can accelerate and improve the drug development process.
Professor Steinman’s talk, “New Targets for Old Arrows: Potential for Angiotensin Blockade in Multiple Sclerosis”, was presented at the Gordon Conference Angiotensin: Emerging and Evolving Paradigms In the Renin-Angiotensin Systemin Ventura, CA on March 1, 2012.