QurAlis Corporation, a biotech company focused on developing precision medicines for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurologic diseases, announced the results of extensive pre-clinical studies on its lead program, QRA-244, for ALS patients.
QRA-244, a Kv7.2/7.3 ion channel opener, has been shown in preclinical studies to have strong potential to control motor neuron hyperexcitability-induced excitotoxicity with significantly fewer side effects than other drug candidates. QRA-244 has demonstrated comparable effects to the anticonvulsant medication retigabine (ezogabine) at up to 20-fold lower concentration in motor neurons differentiated from patient-derived iPSCs. Importantly, QRA-244 showed dramatic reductions in side effects associated with retigabine including fatigue/somnolence, dizziness and bladder retention in head-to-head pre-clinical studies.
Reduced off-target side effects make QRA-244 a strong drug candidate to treat hyperexcitability-induced disease progression in ALS patients.
QurAlis plans to initiate first-in-human studies of QRA-244 at the end of 2021/beginning of 2022.