Pliant Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLRX) presented new preclinical data highlighting the potential of PLN-101325, an α7β1 integrin activating antibody for the treatment of muscular dystrophies, including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
These data were presented at the New Directions in Biology and Disease of Skeletal Muscle Conference being held June 20‐23, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The presentation “Increased Laminin Binding Through Integrin Activation Protects Dystrophic Muscle” was presented by Scott Turner, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Head of Research at Pliant Therapeutics. It highlighted in vitro and in vivo data demonstrating improved cell morphology, tissue organization and muscle function in human cells and D2-MDX mice after treatment with PLN-101325. Importantly, results showed significant improvements in diaphragm muscle strength and respiratory function.
“Our novel approach of employing an allosteric activating antibody to increase laminin adhesion of muscle cells, could reduce the ongoing muscle injury and potentially enhance regeneration in muscular dystrophy patients,” said Dr. Turner. “The increased diaphragm strength and function seen in D2-MDX mice treated with PLN-101325 highlight the potential of this novel therapy to treat a leading cause of death in muscular dystrophy patients.”
Progressive loss of muscle mass and strength, including respiratory muscle strength, has been observed in muscular dystrophy, contributing to death from respiratory insufficiency. The α7β1 integrin is a laminin receptor located on the muscle cell surface that is upregulated in muscular dystrophy patients, serving as a compensatory muscle stabilization mechanism. Activating the α7β1 integrin may help stabilize the muscle membrane, increase muscle strength, and decrease muscle damage. Because α7β1 can compensate for the loss of the dystroglycan complex, this mechanism has the potential to be combined with existing therapies, as well as those currently in development.
A copy of this presentation can be found on the Publications page under the Posters & Presentations section of the Pliant website.