Disarm Therapeutics announces preclinical data demonstrating that deleting SARM1 has an axonal-protective effect in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis.
These data, which suggests that targeting SARM1 presents a novel, disease-modifying approach to treating multiple sclerosis, was a poster presented recently at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Stockholm.

“Today’s results are particularly exciting because they provide further evidence that SARM1 is a viable therapeutic target for MS and other CNS axonopathies,” Dr Alvin Shih, President and CEO of Disarm Therapeutics, says in a media release.

“To date, treatments for patients with MS have focused on immunomodulatory therapies to slow disease. With these new data, there is potential for a new and complementary approach to modifying the course of disease in MS.”

Disarm’s findings include the following, according to the release:

  • In an EAE model, SARM1 homozygous and heterozygous gene deletion markedly attenuates the increase in plasma neurofilament light (NfL), a biomarker of axonal degeneration and disease progression in MS. The magnitude of SARM1 effect on NfL was gene-dosage dependent.
  • Axonal protection through SARM1 deletion led to a statistically significant reduction in demyelination via histological examination.
  • Disease onset, peak disease scores, and time course were not affected by SARM1 deletion, suggesting that the benefits of SARM1 genetic deletion are not due to interference with the inflammation-driven disease process in this EAE animal model of MS.

“These experimental results deepen our growing understanding of SARM1,” Rajesh Devraj, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Disarm Therapeutics, adds in the release.

“Previous research demonstrated that SARM1 inhibition could protect axons in traumatic injuries. These new data go further, establishing that SARM1 plays a role in protecting axons from immuno-inflammatory damage in diseases such as MS.”

[Source(s): Disarm Therapeutics, Business Wire]