July 30, 2019
Resolve Therapeutics announced that it has enrolled enough patients to conduct a Phase 2a study of a potential treatment for lupus, RSLV-132. Grant support from the Lupus Research Alliance to Dr. Keith Elkon of the University of Washington supported the early work that led to the creation of the molecule RSLV-132.
In lupus, antibodies can target DNA’s chemical cousin RNA, which performs a variety of jobs in cells. When these antibodies encounter an RNA molecule, they attach to it, forming clusters that can trigger inflammation and damage organs, particularly the kidneys.
Dr. Elkon and his team used his Target Identification in Lupus grant from the LRA to demonstrate a new strategy for breaking up these clusters and curbing lupus symptoms. Dr. Elkon and colleagues developed a mouse model that is prone to lupus symptoms but also produces large amounts of an enzyme that cuts up RNA. The model showed lower amounts of antibody clusters and less inflammation in their kidneys and liver, the scientists revealed in a 2013 study.
To apply the same approach in patients, Dr. Elkon and his team created RSLV-132, that slices apart RNA in the blood. They also raised additional funds to launch Resolve Therapeutics, which is now testing the molecule.
The trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of RSLV-132 compared to placebo. It will be conducted in 20 centers in the United States among 64 lupus patients. Enrolling enough patients for a clinical trial is a challenge in any disease, including lupus.
“We are excited to move this potential new therapy one step closer to the large number of lupus patients who are in urgent need of new treatment options,” said James Posada, PhD, chief executive officer of Resolve Therapeutics.
Resolve Therapeutics expects to share topline data from the Phase 2 study in the first quarter of 2020.