Our Program for Multiple Sclerosis
Frequency is following early restorative signals in multiple sclerosis to develop medicines with the same underlying regenerative science we are bringing to hearing loss.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that affects nearly 1 million people in the United States. The disabling condition is caused by an immune attack on myelin, the insulating material that coats and protects axons in the brain. Like an electrical wire that’s been stripped of its protective covering, nerves with damaged myelin cannot send signals through the brain.
As myelin breaks down, patients with MS experience a variety of symptoms ranging from sensory and motor deficits (particularly sight and touch) to muscle weakness and walking difficulties, cognitive challenges and fatigue.
Repairing damage to the central nervous system caused by MS by regenerating myelin
Just as we aim to regenerate the structures necessary for hearing, Frequency’s MS program aims to develop novel, first in class small-molecule therapeutics to activate oligodendrocyte progenitor cells to regenerate oligodendrocytes and myelin lost to MS.
There is a significant unmet need for a remyelinating therapeutic that could repair or reverse the progression of neurodegeneration in MS. There are many approved immunomodulatory therapies for MS that are effective in slowing disease progression by suppressing the immune system to prevent further attacks on the central nervous system. However, none of these products repair damage that has already accumulated.
Frequency has discovered a novel target and new chemical entities for remyelination in MS
Images show that one of Frequency’s lead compounds drive progenitor cells to turn into oligodendrocytes (left: control; right: treated).
With the goal of developing a remyelinating agent, Frequency is leveraging its Progenitor Cell Activation (PCA) approach to activate existing precursor cells in MS patients to remyelinate axons and restore signal transmission.
Our scientists have identified and validated a novel target, where we have observed a clear and compelling regenerative signal in pre-clinical studies. Our new chemical entity is a small molecule designed to activate progenitor cells in the brain to form new oligodendrocytes and remyelinate axons. This could prevent further decline or, potentially, even restore function.
We plan to follow that signal from lab to clinic, with the same approach we bring to our hearing program, to develop a regenerative medicine for MS that dramatically improves quality of life for patients.
Images show a preclinical model of demyelination (left) and newly generated myelin (green) with Frequency’s lead compound for MS (right).