SynAct Pharma AB: SynAct Pharma initiates collaboration on pharmacogenetic aspects of AP1189 compound in Rheumatoid arthritis with Barts and London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London.

SynAct today announces that the company has initiated a collaboration with William Harvey Research Instutute, Barts and London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London aimed to investigate pharmacogenetic aspects of the melanocortin receptors (MCRs) with specific focus on the type 1 MCR.

The collaborations focus areas are 1) a clinical pharmacology study where MCR1 genotyping is connected to ex vivo studies of receptor efficacy following biased agonism in healthy volunteers and 2) identification of MCR1 variants in the patients currently recruited to SynAct Pharma BEGIN study in RA patients with the aim to correlate treatment efficacy of SynAct Pharma lead compound AP1189, a biased MCR agonist, to specific MCR1 variants.

The collaboration is to be considered the next step in the continued collaboration between SynAct Pharma and Dr Trini Montero-Melendez and Prof Mauro Perretti William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London on melanocortin derived therapy with specific focus on the AP1189 compounds receptor pharmacology and anti-rheumatic properties.

"Many drug targets show genetic variation in the human population that may result in altered drug response. This project will investigate the impact of genetic variants on the efficacy of novel therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases aiming to provide rationale for personalized medicine”, says Dr Trini Montero-Melendez.

“In addition to the benefits of Pharmacogenetics in clinical practice, the integration of this strategy into the drug development process also has the potential to accelerate the development of novel medicines”, says Professor Mauro Perretti. In fact, by taking the genetic variations of drug targets and their impact on efficacy into account during the design of a clinical trial, researchers have the potential to improve success rates and accelerate the adoption of these new therapies. 

“The project is a natural next step in our long-standing collaboration with Dr Trini-Montero Melendez and Professor Mauro Perretti. Our investment of ~£400,000 is to enable an important task of the project, i.e. to link clinical outcome of treatment with our AP1189 compound to MCR1 polymorphism as it would give the possibility to apply a rational approach for patient selection for future clinical studies. In addition, new insight into pharmacology of specific MCR1 variants can be used for identification of next generation compounds”, says Thomas Jonassen, CSO SynAct Pharma.  

The information was submitted, through the agency of the contact persons below, for publication on May 14, 2021.

For further information about SynAct Pharma AB, please contact:

Jeppe Øvlesen                                                                                Thomas Jonassen

CEO, SynAct Pharma AB                                                                CSO, SynAct Pharma AB

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About SynAct Pharma AB

SynAct Pharma AB conducts research and development in inflammatory diseases. The company has a platform technology based on a new class of drug candidates aimed at acute deterioration in chronic inflammatory diseases with the primary purpose of stimulating natural healing mechanisms. For more information: