patient in our Phase 1 clinical trial to be dosed in early 2018. We expect this clinical trial to be completed in mid-2018.
The clinical success of a systemically delivered anti-IL-17RA antibody has validated that target as a clinically relevant target for psoriasis. The IL-17 pathway is important for initiating and sustaining inflammatory responses. IL-17RA stimulation in the skin causes keratinocyte and T-cell proliferation as well as immune cell infiltration, which results in the formation of psoriatic lesions.
We are developing XCUR17, an SNA containing IL-17RA antisense oligonucleotides. XCUR17 is intended to be applied locally as a topically applied gel to psoriatic lesions. We expect XCUR17 to enter into cells of the epidermis, especially keratinocytes, and modulate the production of IL-17RA.
Preclinical development of XCUR17
Similar to the AST-005 preclinical development, we have gathered experimental evidence of the biological activity of XCUR17 in healthy human skin samples prior to undertaking a Phase 1 clinical trial. As a consequence, we believe we have a deeper understanding of how XCUR17 will perform during clinical trials than would be ordinarily possible with traditional therapeutic development.
XCUR17 exhibits cellular uptake and skin penetration properties. Specifically, XCUR17 enters into keratinocytes in vitro and enters into healthy human skin ex vivo after topical application. In addition, it also down-regulates the expression of IL-17RA mRNA and protein in keratinocytes in vitro. Further, XCUR17 gel down-regulates IL-17RA mRNA in healthy human skin ex vivo.