January 17, 2003
Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., announced the initiation of a phase I clinical trial of MLN1202.
MLN1202, a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the chemokine receptor known as CCR2, is being developed as a potential treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and possibly other inflammatory diseases. The primary objectives of this double-blind, placebo-controlled, single dose-escalation study are to evaluate the tolerability, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic properties of MLN1202.
The study will be conducted in Europe and will include approximately 48 healthy volunteers.
"MLN1202 represents the third new molecular entity to enter clinical development in 2002 , meeting an important company goal," said Steve Gilman, PhD, general manager, inflammation franchise, at Millennium. "Rheumatoid arthritis remains a significant area of unmet medical need and we are hopeful that MLN1202's novel mechanism of action may provide patients with an additional therapeutic option."
The CCR2 receptor is found on the surface of monocytes and some T-cells and binds hormone-like "chemokines" known as monocyte chemoattractant proteins (MCPs). Using the CCR2 receptor, MCPs signal monocytes and T-cells to migrate to sites of injury as part of the inflammatory process. MLN1202 is designed to specifically block the MCP-CCR2 chemokine pathway and prevent infiltration of immune cells into inflammatory sites, such as arthritic joints.
A number of published preclinical studies suggest that CCR2 plays an
important role in the inflammatory response and that antagonism of CCR2
could potentially be an effective therapeutic approach in a variety of
inflammatory and autoimmune indications, including rheumatoid arthritis,
multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, restenosis, and fibrosis.
© Copyright 2003 Drug Week