21 August 2019 | News
OKYO Pharma Announces Collaboration with Prof. Pedram Hamrah to Evaluate Proprietary Lead Compounds as Non-Opioid Analgesics Targeting G-Protein Coupled Receptors
OKYO Pharma Limited, a biotechnology company developing targeted drugs for inflammatory dry eye diseases and chronic pain, is pleased to announce a collaborative agreement with Pedram Hamrah, MD, Ophthalmology Scientist and Cornea Specialist at Tufts Medical Center, and Professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, to evaluate proprietary lead compounds, targeting G-protein coupled receptors (“GPCRs”), as non-opioid analgesics.
Based on our preclinical research, we have identified novel Bovine Adrenal Medulla (“Bam8”) analogs that have potential to ameliorate inflammation and neuropathic pain. The research collaboration with Dr. Hamrah is focused on evaluation of our lead compounds as non-opioid analgesics to suppress corneal neuropathic pain using a mouse ocular pain model recently developed in Dr. Hamrah’s laboratory at Tufts Medical Center, Boston. Dr. Hamrah is a prominent key opinion leader in Ocular Immunology, Inflammation and Ocular Pain. Recently, he was featured in The Wall Street Journal article on ‘When Routine Eye Surgery Leads to Debilitating Pain’.These collaborative studies will provide additional ‘Proof-of-Concept’ results for the Bam8 analogs as potential non-opioid analgesics.
OKYO is focused on GPCR Technology Platform, a novel approach to develop innovative therapies for inflammatory dry eye diseases and chronic pain management. More than 40% of the drugs available in the global market target GPCRs. 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.
In addition to non-opioid analgesics program, OKYO is also pursuing development of Chemerin receptor agonist that targets inflammatory pathways to treat dry eye syndrome, uveitis and allergic conjunctivitis. Previously, OKYO presented preclinical studies demonstrating anti-inflammatory activity of OKYO-0101, a Chemerin receptor agonist, to suppress dry eye symptoms in a mouse model and ocular safety in rabbits in a ‘Late Breaking Poster Session’ at the 14th Congress on Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics in New Orleans (March 2019)1.
IND-enabling studies for both, Chemerin and Bam8 are ongoing at OKYO and we anticipate IND submission for Chemerin agonist for dry eye indication by Q4 2020 and Bam8 for ocular pain indication by Q2 2021.
“Neuropathic corneal pain is a severe, chronic and debilitating disease,” said Dr. Hamrah. “No commercially available treatments are currently available for this condition, so we are excited about this collaboration to test new compounds in our pre-clinical model of this disease.”
“Non-opioid strategies for chronic pain are central to solve the opioid public health crisis. We are thrilled to identify novel non-opioid GPCR agonists as lead candidates for IND-enabling studies, that have potential to ameliorate neuropathic pain” said Dr. Raj Patil, Senior Director R&D, OKYO Pharma Limited.