VLA-4 is a receptor on the surface of lymphocytes (a particular class of immune cells) which is important in immune cell adhesion to blood vessel walls and subsequent migration of lymphocytes into tissue – a key event in inflammatory diseases.
In inflammation, white blood cells (leukocytes) move out of the bloodstream into the inflamed tissue, for example, the Central Nervous System (CNS) in MS, and the lung airways in asthma. The inhibition of VLA-4 may prevent white blood cells from entering sites of inflammation, thereby slowing progression of the disease. VLA-4 is a clinically validated target in the treatment of MS. Antisense inhibition of VLA-4 has demonstrated positive effects in a number of animal models of inflammatory disease including MS with the MS animal data having been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal.
The company successfully completed a Phase IIa efficacy and safety trial, significantly reducing the number of MRI lesions in patients with multiple sclerosis and has also completed toxicology studies to support a potential future Phase IIb of ATL1102 in MS patients.
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What is Multiple Sclerosis?