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Treatment of Porphyromonas gulae infection and downstream pathology in the aged dog by lysine‐gingipain inhibitor COR388

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COR388, a small-molecule lysine-gingipain inhibitor, is currently being investigated in a Phase 2/3 clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease (AD) with exploratory endpoints in periodontal disease. Gingipains are produced by two species of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Porphyromonas gulae, typically associated with periodontal disease and systemic infections in humans and dogs, respectively. P. gulae infection in dogs is associated with periodontal disease, which provides a physiologically relevant model to investigate the pharmacology of COR388. In the current study, aged dogs with a natural oral infection of P. gulae and periodontal disease were treated with COR388 by oral administration for up to 90 days to assess lysine-gingipain target engagement and reduction of bacterial load and downstream pathology. In a 28-day dose-response study, COR388 inhibited the lysine-gingipain target and reduced P. gulae load in saliva, buccal cells, and gingival crevicular fluid. The lowest effective dose was continued for 90 days and was efficacious in continuous reduction of bacterial load and downstream periodontal disease pathology. In a separate histology study, dog brain tissue showed evidence of P. gulae DNA and neuronal lysine-gingipain, demonstrating that P. gulae infection is systemic and spreads beyond its oral reservoir, similar to recent observations of P. gingivalis in humans. Together, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of COR388 lysine-gingipain inhibition, along with reduction of bacterial load and periodontal disease in naturally occurring P. gulae infection in the dog, support the use of COR388 in targeting lysine-gingipain and eliminating P. gingivalis infection in humans.

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