Nura Bio has initiated a Phase I clinical trial evaluating NB-4746, which is being developed as a neuroprotective therapy for various neurologicaldiseases of central, peripheral, and ocular nervous systems.

The placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomised, single and multiple ascending dose study intends to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, tolerability, and safety of the oral, brain-penetrant, neuroprotective SARM1 inhibitor NB-4746 in healthy volunteers.

The lead asset has demonstrated significant structural and functional protection in various preclinical disease models.

They include traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

NB-4746 has also reduced and, in some cases, prevented levels of neurofilament light (NfL), the axonal injury-dependent disease-associated biomarker, in preclinical models.

Nura Bio Development Sciences senior vice-president David Lau said: “We expect to enter clinical trials in a patient population in 2024, to evaluate the impact of NB-4746 on axonal injury and NfL levels.”

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Degeneration of axons is indicated as an early hallmark of several neurological diseases and halting this can provide neuroprotection.

Nura Bio chief scientific officer Shilpa Sambashivan said: “With our strong scientific foundation and dedicated team, we are rapidly progressing NB-4746 through early development.

“We also continue advancing additional molecules through our pre-clinical pipeline, with the goal of delivering novel and potentially life-changing neuroprotective medicines.”