During the research stage, Lyramid obtained extensive pre-clinical data sets and a licence to the relevant patents in relation to its Midkine antibodies. Lyramid is now moving into the pre-clinical stage of developing antisense oligonucleotide drugs to inhibit Midkine. The advantages of oligonucleotide-based drugs in clinical deployment include low cost and scalability of manufacture, well-defined safety profile and pharmacokinetics, as well as targeted biodistribution to specific organs with appropriate chemical modifications and delivery vehicles for nucleic acids. The oligonucleotide drugs are expected to be novel and form the basis of new patents, adding value to Lyramid’s intellectual property portfolio.
Lyramid’s preclinical antisense oligonucleotide programme is expected to deliver new, patented drugs, which will be further validated in preclinical models of cancer, autoimmune disorders, chronic inflammatory diseases, and SARS-CoV-2 infection, including acute symptoms of COVID-19 and long COVID. Relative to biologic drugs, such as antibodies, oligonucleotide drugs are expected to have a more rapid path to the clinic representing earlier potential value inflection for Lyramid.
Lyramid will initially focus on disease indications that allow accelerated entry into clinical trials, especially with the EUA/CTAP programs run by the FDA for COVID-19 treatments. In view of the multiple other disease settings that Midkine impacts on, the Board believes that there is considerable scope for adapting Midkine oligonucleotides for broad clinical application in areas of high unmet needs and major global markets.
Lyramid intends to develop its oligonucleotide, and potentially antibody, drugs through preclinical and early clinical development. It will consider licensing of these drugs in the various indications at either IND (investigational new drug) application or clinical proof of concept (post phase 2 clinical studies) stages with the objective of delivering value to shareholders.
New intellectual property is intended to be generated through pre-clinical drug development focused around innovative approaches to block Midkine expression and activity in diseased tissues using new generation oligonucleotide drugs. It is expected that blocking Midkine will result in novel treatments for these diseases.