US-based biotechnology firm Kineta has completed patient enrolment in its Phase Ib proof-of-concept clinical trial of its new, immune-sparing therapeutic, ShK-186, to treat psoriasis.

The company is developing ShK-186 for a variety of autoimmune diseases and the results from this trial are scheduled to be reported later in 2015.

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic diseases of the immune system and for which currently there are no cures.

Nearly eight million people in the US are afflicted with these conditions, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.

The Phase Ib psoriasis trial is designed to assess the effects of biweekly injections of ShK-186 for four weeks in patients with active plaque psoriasis.

The company said that patients are monitored for safety endpoints, inflammatory biomarker activity in blood and skin biopsy tissue and appraisal of psoriasis severity.

According to preclinical data, ShK-186 is a selective and potent blocker of the voltage-gated Kv1.3 potassium channel, which is a key channel in the activation of effector-memory T cells, which are implicated in the pathology of many autoimmune diseases.

ShK-186 was the first Kv1.3 specific inhibitor advanced into human clinical trials and is also being evaluated as a potential therapy in other autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, lupus, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases and eye diseases.

Currently, research is being carried out on lupus, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease in conjunction with the Alliance for Children’s Therapeutics, a drug development and funding collaboration between Kineta and Seattle Children’s Research Institute.