Study Shows AST-005 is Safe and Tolerable in Patients at Higher Doses than Previously Studied

The phase 1b clinical trial by Exicure, Inc. has demonstrated that AST-005 is safe and tolerable in patients at higher doses than previously studied.

Exicure Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company developing a new class of immunomodulatory and gene regulating drugs against validated targets, has announced the results from the Phase 1b clinical trial of its compound, AST-005, designed to reduce the expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

TNF is a central driver of psoriasis. The trial evaluated the safety, tolerability, and disease-related biomarkers in chronic plaque psoriasis patients following topical application of three different strengths of AST-005 formulated as a topical gel. The trial demonstrated that AST-005 is safe and tolerable in patients at higher doses than were previously studied.

"Findings from this successful Phase 1 trial demonstrate that SNA-based drugs, such as AST-005, can regulate gene expression at the mRNA level in human skin. We believe these results provide the proof that SNA technology can potentially be used to regulate gene expression in a variety of local applications, including those in the skin, eye, lung and GI tract," said Dr. David Giljohann, CEO, Exicure.

"This result has the potential to revolutionize drug development and patient care because we are demonstrating that with the SNA technology, we can combine the digital drug design aspects of nucleic acid-based therapeutics with the safety and convenience of locally applied therapeutics," he added. 

Marc Technow

Marc has been a long-time friend of Pharma’s Almanac and has helped on numerous projects, such as editing texts and contributing to several strategic and journalistic articles. Marc has over seven years of experience in communications and holds a Master’s Degree in Arts from the University of Fresenius. He resides in Cologne, Germany.