Synonyms: SAR 443060
Therapy Type: Small Molecule (timeline)
Target Type: Inflammation (timeline)
Condition(s): Alzheimer's Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
U.S. FDA Status: Alzheimer's Disease (Phase 1), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Phase 1)
Company: Denali Therapeutics Inc., Sanofi
DNL747 is a brain-penetrant, small-molecule inhibitor of RIPK1, i.e., receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1. Orignially developed in the laboratory of Junying Yuan at Harvard Medical School, the compound was licensed to Denali Therapeutics, which has partnered with Sanofi to develop it for the treatment of AD, ALS, and MS.
RIPK1 forms a signaling hub downstream of the TNF receptor pathway, which regulates inflammation. RIPK1 has been shown to initiate both necroptosis and apoptosis (Vadenabeele et al., 2010; Caccamo et al., 2017; Amin et al., 2018).
RIPK1 mediates disease-associated microglial activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine release in Alzheimer’s (Ofengeim et al., 2017). The kinase is located in the molecular pathogenic pathway of ALS/FTD caused by mutations in the endogenous RIPK1 suppressors optineurin and TBK1, and has been reported to regulate progranulin expression (Ito et al., 2016; Xu et al., 2018; Mason et al., 2017). RIPK1 has also been implicated in necroptosis in multiple sclerosis (Ofengeim et al., 2015). This and other work have raised the profile of RIPK1 as a glial target to try to reduce neuroinflammation and cell death across several neurodegenerative diseases (Yuan et al., 2019).
No preclinical studies on DNL747 are published in a peer-reviewed journal. Some efficacy data from human primary cells and 5xFAD and SOD1 mouse models, and safety results from toxicity studies in rats and cynomolgus monkeys, are publicly available as part of the company’s November 2017 filing with the Securities and Exchange commission (pp 129-131 on sec.gov).
In March 2018, Denali started evaluating single and multiple doses of DNL747 in 56 healthy volunteers in the Netherlands. In November that year, the company announced that DNL747 was generally well-tolerated at doses that met goals for brain exposure and target engagement as measured by a blood-based biomarker of RIPK1 activity (see company press release).
In December 2018, Denali started a single-site, Phase 1 study of DNL747 in 16 people with ALS, also in the Netherlands. This crossover trial randomizes participants to either DNL747 or placebo for 29 days and, after 14 days of washout, switches drug/placebo assignment in a second 29-day treatment period. Primary outcomes measure safety and tolerability, secondary outcomes measure pharmacokinetics and -dynamics by day 86. The trial is set to run until August 2019.
In February 2019, a Phase 1 trial at two centers, in Florida and the Netherlands, began enrolling 16 people with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis supported by biomarker evidence of amyloid positivity. This trial uses the same 29-day crossover design and outcome measures, and is set to run until August 2019.
For trials of this compounds, see clinicaltrials.gov
Last Updated: 07 Mar 2019
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