Kinex Pharmaceuticals announced today that the first actinic keratosis patient has been dosed with KX2-391 ointment in Austin, Texas.
KX2-391 (KX01), a dual Src/pre-tubulin inhibitor, is a small molecule drug that has excellent skin penetration when formulated as a topical ointment. The pre-tubulin activity causes hyperproliferating cells to undergo apoptosis due to a disruption of the tubulin dynamics needed for these cells to pass through mitosis. Actinic Keratosis (AK) is a very common skin disease that appears as rough, dry, scaly patches or growths that form on the skin when the skin is badly damaged by ultraviolet rays from the sun or through indoor tanning. Ultraviolet rays can cause damage to DNA and RNA leading to keratinocyte mutations and uncontrolled growth. Reduction of the tumor suppressor p53 level has also been implicated in the unchecked proliferation of dysplastic keratinocytes. KX2-391 also potently increases p53 levels during unchecked proliferation thereby potentially addressing the dysregulation of p53 in AK.
Dr. Rudolf Kwan, Chief Medical Officer of Kinex Pharmaceuticals commented "Actinic Keratosis is a common dermatological problem with long term overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet light. If left untreated, AK can progress to squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. Once a patient is afflicted with AK lesions, they tend to continue getting new AK lesions for life. We are hopeful to offer a new treatment option for these patients."