Scratching the itch, Lynk Pharmaceuticals trialling ointment for psoriasis

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Psoriasis Clinical trial Pharmaceutical industry China

The first patients with psoriasis have been dosed with a new drug to help combat the inflammatory skin disease in a clinical trial in China.

Lynk Pharmaceuticals is running a phase 1b trial, designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic characteristics of an ointment currently named LNK01004. It is targeted at people with mild to moderate plaque psoriasis.

Psoriasis is an immune-mediated, chronic, relapsing, inflammatory skin disease characterized by scaly erythematous or plaque lesions that can be local or widely distributed. Patients often require lifelong treatment to control symptoms and prevent complications from occurring or developing, thereby maintaining their quality of life.

Lynk say its ointment is a topical, skin-restricted soft pan JAK inhibitor intended for the treatment of psoriasis and other related conditions.

A JAK inhibitor interferes with signals in the body that are thought to cause inflammation. This, in turn, reduces the inflammation that fuels diseases like eczema, psoriatic arthritis, and vitiligo. With less inflammation, the immune system calms down.

The drug is mainly distributed in the skin tissues but has minimal exposure in the blood system thereby avoiding potential safety issues caused by systemic immune suppression due to systemic exposure. As a representative third-generation JAK inhibitor, LNK01004, Lynk says, has the potential to be a first-in-class treatment.

Henry Wu, chief development officer of Lynk Pharmaceuticals, said: “The completion of dosing the first cohort of patients with LNK01004 is an important milestone for the development of this compound.

“LNK01004 has already shown good efficacy and safety in preclinical animal studies. Its phase I trial in healthy subject was completed earlier this year, and the results showed good safety profile. We look forward to LNK01004's good performance in patient trials.”

Zhao-Kui (ZK) Wan, founder and CEO of Lynk Pharmaceuticals, added: “As a third generation JAK inhibitor, LNK01004 can effectively inhibit psoriasis-related cytokine-induced JAK/STAT signalling pathways in skin tissues by topical application. Additionally, LNK01004 has the advantage of extremely low exposure in the blood system to potentially avoid safety concerns due to systemic exposure.”

Wan said Lynk is committed to developing safer and more efficacious JAK inhibitors and emphasized that the differentiated products are the company’s core competitive advantages.

He said: “In addition to the highly selective JAK1 inhibitor LNK01001, we have also assembled a promising pipeline consisting of multiple third-generation, tissue-restricted soft pan JAK inhibitors in clinical trials including the GI-restricted LNK01003 for UC which is currently in phase 2a. We sincerely look forward to bringing safer, more efficacious and innovative treatment options to patients.”

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