The first patient has been dosed in the clinical Phase I evaluation of the Sema3A monoclonal antibody, part of the Evotec-Bayer multi-target research collaboration in kidney diseases.
The drug candidate, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting the protein Semaphorin-3A (Sema3A), is being developed as a potential first-to-market treatment for Alport syndrome, a rare genetic kidney disease.
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Evotec received a €2m milestone payment from Bayer on the dosing of the first patient and is eligible to receive further milestones depending on future progress.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “We are excited that Bayer is moving ahead with the Phase I clinical development of an asset from our multi-target research alliance in kidney diseases. Novel clinical candidates that build on an improved understanding of chronic kidney diseases are urgently needed to effectively treat the broad range of disease phenotypes we see in this area.
“The jointly developed monoclonal antibody targeting Sema3a constitutes such novel clinical candidate that may, subject to its further clinical evaluation, potentially deliver a much-needed therapeutic option for patients living with Alport syndrome.”
Semaphorin-3A is an extracellular guidance protein and a well-known regulator of the actin cytoskeleton. Alterations of the actin cytoskeleton, particularly of podocytes, are a key pathophysiological feature of Alport syndrome, a rare genetic kidney disease with progressive loss of filtration capacity.
Sema3A is upregulated in injured human kidneys and implicated in the development and progression of acute and chronic kidney diseases. The mAb blocks Sema3A activity, aiming to delay disease progression and onset of end-stage renal disease.