Results from in vitro and in vivo studies suggest SM04755, a small molecule Wnt pathway modulator compound from pharmaceutical company Samumed LLC, San Diego, could be a potential topical treatment for chronic tendinopathy.

The results were presented recently at the 2016 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting.

A media release from Samumed explains that in preclinical studies, SM04755 demonstrated the potential to promote healing in chronic tendinopathy. Specifically, in vitro testing demonstrated that SM04755 prevented and reversed fibrosis and promoted the formation of tendon cells. From in vivo studies, SM04755 topically applied to rat tendinopathy models reduced markers of tendon inflammation in plasma, showed evidence of tendon regeneration, and increased tendon health scores compared to rats treated with inactive vehicle.

In vivo efficacy of topical SM04755 was evaluated in an intra-tendon collagenase-induced rodent tendinopathy model by scoring (range 5-20) several histological indicators of tendon health. Inflammation in the rodent model was measured by chemokine ligand 1 (CXCL1) levels in plasma by ELISA and other inflammatory markers in the tendon by qPCR. Tendon regeneration was evaluated by qPCR based gene expression of tenocyte differentiation markers scleraxis A and tenascin C.

In the collagenase-induced model, compared to vehicle, SM04755 treatment significantly increased the mean tendon health score (p<0.01, n=6), decreased the plasma levels of CXCL1 (p<0.05, n=6), reduced gene expression of pro-inflammatory markers (IL-6, TNF-a, IL-1b, INF-g, IL-8) (p<0.05, n=3), and increased expression of scleraxis A and tenascin C in tendon (p<0.05, n=6), the release continues.

“Based on our preclinical study results, we are extremely excited about SM04755’s potential as a treatment for chronic tendinopathy, for which current therapeutic options focus on alleviating the symptoms and pain rather than treating the underlying disease,” says Yusuf Yazici, MD, chief medical officer of Samumed, in the release.

“For this potential treatment, we just opened an IND, and we are planning to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial before the end of 2016,” he adds.

[Source(s): Samumed LLC, Business Wire]