Knopp Biosciences LLC is a privately owned drug discovery and development company with a focus on delivering breakthrough treatments for inflammatory and neurological diseases with a high unmet need. Today, they announced the expansion of its research collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to further elucidate the eosinophil-depleting mechanism of action of Knopp’s lead investigational drug, dexpramipexole.
Eosinophils are white-blood cells that play a significant role in several debilitating conditions, including asthma, hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES), and other inflammatory diseases. Dexpramipexole has been shown to selectively reduce eosinophil levels in multiple clinical trials, including a Phase 2 study in HES and a Phase 2 trial in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. Knopp is advancing dexpramipexole into Phase 2 development in severe asthma and Phase 3 development in HES.
The research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is being led by Patricia C. Fulkerson, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and a leading authority on eosinophil-mediated diseases. Dr. Fulkerson’s lab has developed several innovative methods to study the differentiation and maturation of eosinophils. Through a previous collaboration with Knopp, she and her team employed an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) culture system to study the ability of dexpramipexole to inhibit the maturation of eosinophil progenitor cells. Looking forward, Dr. Fulkerson and her team will investigate molecular pathways in eosinophil development and attempt to further elucidate the effect of dexpramipexole on those pathways.
“We are pleased to expand our research collaboration with Dr. Fulkerson to more fully characterize the eosinophil-lowering mechanism of dexpramipexole,” said Michael Bozik, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Knopp. “Dr. Fulkerson’s expert knowledge of eosinophil biology and her extensive experience in treating children with eosinophil-associated diseases uniquely position her to lead this collaboration that will inform and support the clinical development of dexpramipexole for the treatment of asthma and HES.”