Memo Therapeutics, a Switzerland-based antibody discovery and development company, initiated a Phase I study that will evaluate intravenous doses of the experimental MTX-005 that targets BK polyomavirus (BKV) infection in renal transplant patients.

The study will assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single and multiple ascending doses of the experimental treatment in up to 56 healthy adult volunteers. Memo’s MTX-005 is a therapeutic antibody candidate designed to neutralize all strains of BKV at extremely low concentrations.

For patients who undergo a kidney transplant, BKV is a significant concern. Memo noted in its announcement that the BKV is typically dormant, but the immunosuppression needed for transplant survival can trigger reactivation in up to 50% of the transplant population. Of those, 10% can progress to BKV associated nephropathy, which poses a serious threat to the transplant. There are currently no disease-modifying drugs available for this indication. Current treatment involves lowering immunosuppression, but that increases the risk of graft rejection reaction.

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