Drug Candidate SK1‑I Shown to Markedly Decrease Lupus-Associated Immune Criteria and Kidney Inflammation in Preclinical Study
Study is Further Confirmation of Enzo Biochem’s Proprietary Compound’s Potential for Treatment of this and other Autoimmune Diseases
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE:ENZ) today announced the publication of a study in The FASEB Journal by academic researchers that shows drug candidate “SK1‑I,” the company’s proprietary Sphingosine Kinase 1 inhibitor, markedly reduced Lupus-associated parameters in a recognized, chemically-induced animal model of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, commonly known as “Lupus.” This treatment resulted in reductions in interferon (IFN) signature, pDC activation and glomerulonephritis, the inflammation of the filtration units of the kidney. Significantly, SK1-I was not only effective when administered simultaneously with the chemical induction of Lupus in this model, but was also effective when administered thirty (30) days after the chemical induction of the disorder. In further confirmation that the effects of SK1-I in the Lupus model are the result of inhibiting the enzyme Sphingosine Kinase 1, the effects were mirrored by genetic deletion of the enzyme. These results suggest that SK1-I may have potential in the treatment of Lupus.
Enzo CEO Dr. Elazar Rabbani commented: “The promising results shown by SK1-I, Enzo’s Sphingosine Kinase 1 inhibitor drug candidate, in this preclinical model of Lupus further confirms its potential for the treatment of autoimmune diseases where, in addition to Lupus, SK1-I has already shown activity in animal models of autoimmune hepatitis and ulcerative colitis.”
Lupus is a common autoimmune disease that has a profound impact on the quality of life of affected individuals. Common symptoms include pain, extreme fatigue, hair loss, cognitive issues, and physical impairments. Many suffer from cardiovascular disease, strokes, disfiguring rashes, and painful joints. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5 million Americans, and at least five million people worldwide, have a form of Lupus, with Systemic Lupus accounting for 70% of all cases. While anyone can develop Lupus, 90% of people living with the disease are women. Currently, there is no cure for Lupus and treatment options are limited.
“This published study demonstrates the important clinical work being done in our Therapeutics subsidiary and its inherent value,” continued Elazar Rabbani. “The treatment of Lupus and other autoimmune diseases represents a large unmet medical need and commercial opportunity for Enzo. We have initiated toxicology work on this compound as a preclinical effort in support of our program. As Enzo considers alternatives to unlock value in its Therapeutics subsidiary, we are exploring partnership approaches for the continued development of SK1-I in this therapeutic area with the intention of moving to human trials.”
In December 2019, Enzo announced it will consider various avenues to unlock value in Enzo Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical subsidiary of Enzo Biochem. Alternatives under consideration include a possible spin-off, sale, joint venture or licensing of its intellectual property.
Sphingosine Kinase 1 is a key enzyme in the Sphingosine pathway that has been implicated in tumor cell growth and pathological inflammation. The enzyme acts by phosphorylating the intra-cellular Sphingosine to Sphingosine 1-Phosphate (“S1P”), an important biological mediator of tumor cell proliferation and drug resistance in various cancers, and of immune function.
SK1-I is a small molecule that specifically inhibits Sphingosine Kinase 1 and has shown activity in various animal models of cancers and autoimmune diseases. SK1-I and related compounds, as well as pharmaceutical uses of the compounds, are covered by a family of issued U.S. patents co-owned by Enzo and Virginia Commonwealth University and exclusively licensed by VCU to Enzo. Foreign patent family members have also issued or been allowed.About Enzo Biochem
Enzo Biochem is a pioneer in molecular diagnostics, leading the convergence of clinical laboratories, life sciences and intellectual property through the development of unique diagnostic platform technologies that provide numerous advantages over previous standards. A global company, Enzo Biochem utilizes cross-functional teams to develop and deploy products, systems and services that meet the ever-changing and rapidly growing needs of health care today and into the future. Underpinning Enzo Biochem’s products and technologies is a broad and deep intellectual property portfolio, with patent coverage across a number of key enabling technologies.
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Enzo Biochem, Inc. (the “Company”) has filed and mailed to shareholders a definitive proxy statement and proxy supplement on Schedule 14A and accompanying proxy card with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) in connection with the solicitation of proxies from the Company’s shareholders with respect to its 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The Company has filed and is mailing to shareholders a new definitive proxy supplement and new GOLD proxy card. Shareholders are strongly encouraged to read the Company’s proxy statement, proxy supplements, accompanying GOLD proxy card and all other documents filed with the SEC as they become available carefully and in their entirety as they contain important information.
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For: Enzo Biochem, Inc.
David Bench, CFO