OKYO Pharma Limited (LON:OKYO) has said it expects to make an investigational new drug application for a treatment it is developing for dry eye disease (DED) in December 2021.
OK-113 inhibits Chemerin, one of a key group of cell surface receptors called G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), which play an important role in inflammation and were the basis of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The drug candidate has shown “potent anti-inflammatory activity” in preclinical testing, investors were told in commentary accompanying OKYO’s interim results.
The group's second asset is designed to provide non-opioid pain relief, which is at an earlier stage of development than OK-113. However, the area is very hot in the US and addresses another large market.
This potential treatment also focuses on GPCRs, specifically targeting the human Mas-Related G protein-coupled receptor (MRGPR) using a peptide going by the moniker of Bovine Adrenal Medulla 8-22 (BAM8-22).
It has a collaborative agreement with Pedram Hamrah, Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University, who is assessing OKYO's compounds as non-opioid analgesics to suppress corneal neuropathic pain.
“These collaborative studies will provide additional proof-of-concept results for the BAM8-22 analogues as potential non-opioid analgesics,” OKYO said.
Turning to the financials, the company posted a £920,000 loss for the six months to September 30, 2020. More importantly for a business in the research phase, it was sitting on cash of £5.8mln at the period-end.
In the statement, OYYO chief executive Willy Simon said: “Large market potential and growth exists for GPCR targeted drugs for treating a wide variety of indications such as inflammation, oncology, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory eye diseases including dry eye, uveitis and allergic conjunctivitis.
“As such, it is the intention that the company will work closely with its retained clinicians with a view to generating incremental value for its shareholders.”