The Euronext-traded company AB Science and its laboratory at Genopole are carrying out several clinical trials to test their product masitinib in a range of pathologies including multiple sclerosis (MS). Results obtained in the two progressive forms of MS have been encouraging. “Masitinib should improve the lives of patients with MS, with fewer relapses, slowed decline, and more time before needing a wheelchair, and perhaps not needing one at all,” comments Laurent Gros, head of AB Science’s Drug Discovery Program at Genopole.
Partnerships with the United States
The tyrosine kinase inhibitor masitinib was also identified by researchers at the University of Chicago as the most powerful inhibitor of the principal protease of SARS-CoV-2, specifically the protease needed for viral replication in COVID-19. “The American researchers contacted us to optimize their protocol. We’ve laid the foundation for a potential partnership concerning an antiviral indication for masitinib against COVID-19.” For its part, AB Science is carrying out a clinical trial to test the ability of masitinib to control the excessive inflammation brought on by an overly-strong immune response in COVID-19. The potential antiviral+anti-inflammatory action of masitinib inspired a €15 million loan from the European Investment Bank for the biotech to enable the pursuit of clinical development. Other trials have looked at the performance of masitinib in such settings as severe asthma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, pancreatic cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.