KineMed received an option to exclusively license from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) intellectual property related to scavenger receptor-class B type I (SR-B1).
“SR-B1 is a highly promising target that has been shown in transgenic models to play an important role in preventing atherosclerosis,” states Marc K. Hellerstein, M.D., Ph.D., KineMed co-founder and chairman of the scientific advisory board. “Clinical investigations have also demonstrated a role of the human homologue of SR-B1, CLA-1, in developing atherosclerosis.”
Under the agreement, KineMed may gain exclusive rights to issued patents that cover SR-B1 as a therapeutic target for the treatment of atherosclerotic heart disease. The company also acquired an option for nonexclusive rights to methods of screening for drugs that modulate SR-B1 expression and activity and genetic models of SR-B1 modulation.
Dr. Hellerstein believes “that the acquisition of exclusive rights to patents covering the development of drugs that modulate SR-B1 would position KineMed as a leader in the field of HDL and antiatherosclerosis therapy."
SR-B1 was first identified by Monty Krieger, Ph.D., a professor in M.I.T.'s Department of Biology, as a hepatic HDL receptor more than 10 years ago. SR- B1 has been well characterized at the molecular level and has been shown to facilitate binding of HDL to liver cells by catalyzing the net transfer of cholesterol-esters to the liver. Delivery of cholesterol from blood to the liver is a critical component in the HDL-dependent pathway of reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). RCT is the only known mechanism by which excess cholesterol is removed from tissues.
KineMed says that RCT is one of the key disease pathways for which it has a unique kinetic biomarker as well as proprietary rights to its modulation for therapeutic purposes. The biomarker assay of RCT is currently being used by KineMed and its pharma partners in preclinical models and in clinical trials.
The option agreement thus provides KineMed the opportunity to combine its ability to assess RCT in vivo for antiatherosclerotic drug development with exclusive rights to the patents covering SR-B1 as a target for atherosclerotic drug discovery.