Hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels in the blood) is a metabolic, storage disease that is caused by overproduction and/or underexcretion of uric acid by the kidneys. Hyperuricemia leads to accumulation of uric acid in the body tissue, and most often, deposition of urate crystals in joints, resulting in acute gout attacks. Gout typically presents itself with one or more acutely painful swollen joints. Recurrent gout flares are debilitating and can lead to joint destruction and joint disfigurement.
Treatment of gout and hyperuricemia is focused on reducing production of excess uric acid or increasing uric acid elimination through the kidney. The former is achieved by inhibition of the enzyme xanthine oxidase (XO), which is involved in breaking down of purines, primarily from dietary protein, into uric acid as a byproduct. Inhibition of the enzyme accordingly reduces the high level of uric acid in the blood. Alternatively, improving excretion of uric acid through the kidneys is another approach to normalize levels in the blood and treat gout.
Existing treatments for gout and hyperuricemia are not always effective in lowering the uric acid to target level to control gout or prevent uric acid from accumulating in the body; these drugs also are often associated with a series of adverse effects that can, in some cases be fatal.
Shanton Pharma’s lead program SAP-001 works through a unique combination of pathways to regulate over production and increase excretion of uric acid to effectively reduce serum uric acid levels.