Peripheral neuropathy refers to the condition that arises due to damage to the peripheral nerves that control many of our body functions. Peripheral neuropathy is a slow and neglected complication for over half of all diabetics, nearly half of all cancer patients and a third of all HIV patients. Many patients do not know the underlying cause of their neuropathy.
WinSanTor Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of treatments for peripheral neuropathies. We believe in creating a solution that works and brings relief to millions that are struggling with this disease.
Unfortunately, other than pain killers, there are no treatments for peripheral neuropathy. Our drugs now appear to be reversing this disease, starting with the underlying biology, nerve regrowth, return of function and, most importantly, quality of life. Pulled from a Reddit AMA we did a couple of years ago, here are seven questions about peripheral neuropathy and our drug.
Q1: Any indications that the treatment might work for those with idiopathic forms?
WinSanTor: Our drug targets and seems to regenerate nerves themselves, it does not cure the cause of the neuropathy, which makes us hopeful that it can treat idiopathic neuropathy as well.
Presently patients can fill in the survey available on our website as we still are learning about peripheral neuropathy generally. We have learned so much from patients, including their symptoms as they vary from patient to patient. As we see what symptoms are being resolved, we learn better about how nerve regrowth affects these different symptoms.
Q2: As nerves heal (regenerate) is there an increase in sensations, such as a temporary rise in pain?
WinSanTor: Interestingly, we do see an increase in sensation so an increase in pain could be an effect we may see in some patients, temporary or otherwise. The data of the scientists have not been published and some of this, we are also validating in the Phase 2 studies. But things look promising.
Q3: Is there a point when nerve damage is too far gone to improve? Does duration of condition affect healing—have you studied subjects with, say, a decade or more of neuropathy? When is “too long?”
WinSanTor: Yes. Dead nerves are dead and we can’t bring them back to life. But we believe that our drug can support the remaining nerves and cause collateral sprouting to ‘fill in’ the space left by the dead nerves. Assuming, there are enough remaining nerves to do so. We can’t really say when would be too long, since some neuropathies occur rapidly and others are slower.
Q4: Do we know what biological mechanism causes neuropathy, generally speaking, or are there many etiologies across the spectrum of patients suffering from it?
WinSanTor: There are multiple causes of peripheral neuropathy, the good thing about our drug is that it seems to fix many peripheral neuropathies, regardless of the root cause.
Q5: Do you anticipate your drug being available for Idiopathic neuropathy as opposed to diabetic neuropathy?
WinSanTor: Yes! Our drug works directly on nerve growth regardless of etiology.
Q6: Where are you in terms of development? Have you proceeded to human trials? Results?
WinSanTor: Yes, we are in clinical studies -phase 2 to be specific for WST-057. But our group already has some evidence in humans that other drugs in the same class appear to be working to reverse (in humans) the biological (nerve growth) and functional (sensory and quality of life) losses often seen with peripheral neuropathy. This gives us confidence we are on the right track.
One thing we chose with respect to WST-057 is that recycling this drug in a topical format – over 30 years of safety in a pill – gives us greater confidence in its safety. Phase 1 was all about safety – and our drug, not surprisingly, did not show any adverse effects. Now to prove that our drugs work well in many more patients. Wish us luck.
Q7: Can this reverse small fiber neuropathy? Is it something that must be used on an ongoing basis?
WinSanTor: Yes! Small fiber neuropathy is our focus. Whether or not it will have to be used on an ongoing basis depends on the root cause of the peripheral neuropathy. For example, many chemotherapeutics like Paclitaxel for breast cancer cause peripheral neuropathy. If our drug is effective against preventing this neuropathy, the patient would not need ongoing treatments. Other more long term diseases like HIV may need ongoing treatment.