The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted a key patent covering the use of Mesoblast Limited’s Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs) for the prevention or treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other rheumatic diseases.
The patent, “Method of treatment or preventing rheumatic disease,” (U.S. Patent No. 9,265,796) provides Mesoblast with commercial privileges in the U.S. through July 4, 2032. Patent term extensions may occur along with supervisory exclusiveness extensions.
The approved rights cover the use of cell lines developed for MPCs, which are defined as STRO-1 positive multipotential cells isolated from any tissue source or culture-expanded, as treatment for rheumatic conditions such as sacroiliitis, psoriatic arthritis, enteric arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Reiter’s syndrome. In addition the granted patents cover the use of these cell lines with the goal of reducing the levels of the cytokines interleukin-6, TNF-alpha, and interleukin-17, all well-known facilitators of inflammatory arthritis.
This granted patent reinforces the significance of Mesoblast’s business plan for the development of cell-based therapy for patients with RA and other inflammatory joint diseases.
Mesoblast has reported top-line data from its ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have failed one or more biologic treatments. In the first cohort, a single intravenous treatment with the lower dose of the company’s MPC candidate, MPC-300-IV, demonstrated to be safe and showed early and continued clinical responses. The second cohort assessing a superior dose of MPC-300-IV has now completed enrollment. Data from these two cohorts should be released in the third quarter of 2016.
MPC-300-IV is an intravenously-delivered immunomodulatory product candidate for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions, including biologic-refractory rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetic nephropathy.
Mesoblast owns over 661 patents or patent claims through at least 72 patent families. These patents provide considerable advantages for the marketable development of therapeutic products using mesenchymal lineage cells.
Researchers have shown for the first time that serotonin plays a fundamental role in the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis, through the regulation of essential regulatory immune cells and cells responsible for bone re-absorption. The findings might constitute a new treatment approach for rheumatoid arthritis.
The research paper, “Serotonin Is Involved in Autoimmune Arthritis through Th17 Immunity and Bone Resorption,” was published in The American Journal of Pathology.