IRLAB discovers and develops new drugs for treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease, using machine learning. Recently, their drug candidate mesdopetam got accepted by the US FDA’s Investigational New Drug program (IND), enabling IRLAB to start human clinical trials in the US.
”Getting the IND accepted means our drug candidate has received approval to conduct clinical studies in the US by the world’s most respected authority within this area. It is a very important quality seal for a pharmaceutical project and an important step in gaining a foothold on the American continent,” says Nicholas Waters, CEO at IRLAB, part of Sahlgrenska Science Parks community.
The research and development company IRLAB’s focus is to develop new drugs and treatments to improve life for patients with Parkinson’s disease. The companies most advanced drug candidates, mesdopetam and pirepemat, aims to treat some of the most troublesome symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease – involuntary movements occurring after long-term use of levodopa, the standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease, and impaired balance, leading to falls. Both candidates have completed phase IIa studies and in October mesdopetam got accepted by the US FDA’s Investigational New Drug (IND) program, enabling IRLAB to start human clinical trials in the US. In September, the company also got approved for listing on Nasdaq Stockholm Main Market.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive brain disorder that affects movement, causing symptoms like shaking, stiffness and difficulty with walking, balance and coordination. The disease is estimated to affect more than six million people in the western countries, and another estimated three million diagnosed patients in China, according to Nicholas Waters at IRLAB.
”Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, after Alzheimer’s disease, and the number of patients is expected to have more than doubled in the coming two decades,” he says.
Health care today has few ways to treat and improve the symptoms and daily life for patients with Parkinson’s disease, according to Nicholas Waters.
”50-60 percent of all Parkinson patients today lack adequate treatment. We hope to really make a difference in these people’s lives.”
All the candidates in IRLAB’s portfolio have been generated through their own proprietary research platform, ISP, Integrative Screening Process. The platform is based on an enormous, standardized database of CNS treatments, in which the complex interactions in the brain are analyzed and processed, using machine learning – advanced mathematics and statistic algorithms. The effects of newly developed molecules on the brain is studied, in this ‘phenotypic profiling’ process.
Nicholas Waters thinks more advanced data analytical and statistical methods, including machine learning, will play an increasingly important role in future medical research.
”Medical research often contains such huge amounts of data that you need powerful analytical tools to be able to handle it efficiently to make predictions and reach conclusions,” he says.
IRLAB’s focus now is to continue the development of their drug candidates. Nicholas Waters has high hopes that they can become standard treatments for Parkinson’s disease in the future.
”I think both mesdopetam and pirepemat has great potential. If we succeed, it would be a huge support for Parkinson’s patients, improving their quality of life,” says Nicholas Waters.