Kingdom Therapeutics Presents Key Data At Major US Autism Conference

Kingdom Therapeutics has presented its key pre-clinical results at one of the US’s most important ASD conferences, Synchrony, held in Pacific Grove, California.
  • Study shows significant benefits in an autism model with Kingdoms experimental drug, KT-20610.

  • Study adds to growing evidence for how the gut impacts on the brain and behaviour in autism models.

  • The research offers valuable insights for understanding the potential role of the endocannabinoid system in neurodevelopmental disorders.

A pre-clinical stage, life sciences company at the forefront of ground-breaking research into the links between the gut, the brain and the endocannabinoid system, with an initial focus on autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Kingdom Therapeutics presented its key pre-clinical results at the three-day Synchrony 2023 event, Oct. 20-22, at Asilomar Conference Grounds.

Kingdom’s scientific team believes the gut plays a critical role in neurodevelopment in autism, often called the gut-brain axis. Kingdom Therapeutics research has shown for the first time a link between behaviour, gut health, gut leakiness (known as gastrointestinal permeability) and the endocannabinoid system.

Kingdom’s study on its experimental drug, KT-20610, identifies a strong basis for targeting the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of conditions where there is growing evidence on the intersection between GI disruption and neurological development, especially in conditions that are associated with inflammatory processes such as ASD.

The preclinical study confirmed that gut issues in autism correlate with the severity of behavioural issues. In particular, the data showed, for the first time, that by reducing gut leakiness (gastrointestinal permeability) with Kingdom’s experimental drug, KT-20610, behaviour and gut symptoms were significantly improved, both when compared to placebo, but also when compared to the antipsychotic, risperidone, one of the very few registered drugs available for those with autism. In addition, the data also showed that in the model, there was significant thinning of colonic muscle. It could be that this may, in itself, account for some of the significant gastrointestinal issues seen in children with autism. This thinning was reversed with KT-20610.

The study identified robust changes in social, stereotypical, exploratory, and irritable behaviour in a gold standard model of autism. It showed significant effects on gut readouts associated with inflammation and bowel issues, as reported in those with autism. Children with ASD are up to 8 times more likely to have gastrointestinal problems than neurotypical children.

Kingdom Therapeutics experimental drug, KT-20610 is a unique formulation of cannabinoids, which have fascinated scientists for years. In recent years, cannabinoids, which are derived from the cannabis plant, have excited the clinical community, and indeed, Jazz Pharmaceuticals secured FDA approval for a CBD-based drug for the treatment of epilepsy in 2018.

Liz Shanahan, a founder of Kingdom commented ‘This data really is unique and exciting. If what we have seen here can be repeated in the study we plan next year in children with ASD, we could be at the forefront of a real breakthrough in autism. We believe the link between the gut and the brain in neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism is very significant, and early intervention has the possibility of really benefiting this cohort’

‘Autism is an area of huge unmet need’ added Ben Marlow, Clinical Director at the Synapse Centre for Neurodevelopment and Consultant Paediatrician at East Sussex and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. The numbers of those with a diagnosis of ASD in now 1 in 36, yet we have very few options for them, particular the most profound. Kingdom’s approach is really robust and the data provides a lot of hope. I really look forward to seeing the study commence and eagerly await the results’

About Kingdom Therapeutics

Kingdom Therapeutics Ltd, a pre-clinical stage, Irish based, life sciences company at the forefront of ground-breaking research into the links between the gut, the brain, and the endocannabinoid system with an initial focus on autism spectrum disorder. Kingdom’s founders are driven by the desire to help those with profound ASD and their families. The company has completed its pre-clinical phase and is now looking to start its first study in children. It has patents pending around its research. 

About Synchrony

Synchrony is the first and only international symposium on translational research in autism, that brings together academia, biotech, pharmaceutical companies, and venture partners from around the world with the mission to improve health and quality of life of people with autism.

For further information contact: Chris Campbell – ccampbell@kingdomtherapeutics.com