Preclinical and clinical evaluation of the LRRK2 inhibitor DNL201 for Parkinson's disease

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Sci Transl Med


Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the most common genetic risk factors for Parkinson's disease (PD). Increased LRRK2 kinase activity is thought to impair lysosomal function and may contribute to the pathogenesis of PD. Thus, inhibition of LRRK2 is a potential disease-modifying therapeutic strategy for PD. DNL201 is an investigational, first-in-class, CNS-penetrant, selective, ATP-competitive, small-molecule LRRK2 kinase inhibitor. In preclinical models, DNL201 inhibited LRRK2 kinase activity as evidenced by reduced phosphorylation of both LRRK2 at serine-935 (pS935) and Rab10 at threonine-73 (pT73), a direct substrate of LRRK2. Inhibition of LRRK2 by DNL201 demonstrated improved lysosomal function in cellular models of disease, including primary mouse astrocytes and fibroblasts from patients with Gaucher disease. Chronic administration of DNL201 to cynomolgus macaques at pharmacologically relevant doses was not associated with adverse findings. In phase 1 and phase 1b clinical trials in 122 healthy volunteers and in 28 patients with PD, respectively, DNL201 at single and multiple doses inhibited LRRK2 and was well tolerated at doses demonstrating LRRK2 pathway engagement and alteration of downstream lysosomal biomarkers. Robust cerebrospinal fluid penetration of DNL201 was observed in both healthy volunteers and patients with PD. These data support the hypothesis that LRRK2 inhibition has the potential to correct lysosomal dysfunction in patients with PD at doses that are generally safe and well tolerated, warranting further clinical development of LRRK2 inhibitors as a therapeutic modality for PD.

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Animals; Humans; Leucine-Rich Repeat Serine-Threonine Protein Kinase-2; Lysosomes; Mice; Mutation; Parkinson Disease; Phosphorylation

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