Kalytera Therapeutics has signed a preclinical research agreement with Ramot at Tel Aviv University (“Ramot”) to evaluate three Kalytera drug candidates to assess their potential ability to strengthen bone in persons with osteogenesis imperfecta (“OI”), a rare group of genetic disorders characterized by bones that are brittle and break easily.
Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease or Lobstein syndrome, affects how the body produces collagen, a protein that helps strengthen bones.
OI is often lethal before birth, and in less severe forms, it may lead to progressive skeletal deformities that limit movement and increase bone fracture risk. OI affects 25,000 to 50,000 individuals in the U.S., according to National Institutes of Health estimates.
The collaboration will be led by Dr. Yankel Gabet, D.M.D., Ph.D., the Director of the Bone Research Laboratory at Tel Aviv University. In 2015 Dr. Gabet published a study showing that cannabidiol (“CBD”) increased collagen crosslinking and stabilization in rat femurs, increasing the maximal load and work-to-failure, but not the stiffness.
Building upon this research, Kalytera intends to conduct a series of preclinical studies with Dr. Gabet to evaluate the biomechanical properties of bones treated with CBD and Kalytera drug candidates.
“Bone strength depends not only on the quantity of bone tissue but also on the quality, which is characterized by multiple factors including the quality of the collagen matrix,” said Dr. Gabet.
“Our past animal studies suggest that CBD enhances the mechanical properties of bone tissue by promoting collagen maturation and cross-linking. Because defectuous collagen production is often seen in OI, we believe that CBD’s proprietary synthetic derivatives may help persons with OI improve bone strength and reduce fracture risk.”
“We are excited to expand our relationship with Ramot and Dr. Gabet to potentially develop OI treatments,” said Seth Yakatan, CEO, Kalytera. “We look forward to further developing our compounds for the benefit of patients around the world.”
“We are very pleased that Kalytera has chosen Ramot again as its partner. We are excited to expand our research collaboration with Kalytera to develop OI treatments that will benefit patients worldwide,” said Dr. Adi Elkeles, VP Business Development, Life Sciences at Ramot.