Eosinophilic gastritis, with or without Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis, is a severe inflammatory disease characterized by the presence of high levels of eosinophils in the stomach or the stomach and duodenum. Common symptoms of the disease include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, GI bleeding, and weight loss. The estimated prevalence of Eosinophilic gastritis in the United States is approximately 20,000 to 25,000 patients, and the estimated prevalence of Eosinophilic gastroenteritis in the United States is approximately 25,000 patients. There are no treatments approved specifically for this disease. Short term treatment with systemic steroids can induce temporary remissions, but long-term treatment with steroids is generally not possible due to the numerous side effects caused by steroids. Highly restrictive / elemental diets can provide some relief but are difficult to adhere to and impact quality of life.
Allakos is developing treatments for severe allergic, inflammatory, and proliferative diseases
Our initial focus is on a disease called eosinophilic gastritis (EG). We also are testing AK002 in a number of diseases where eosinophils and/or mast cells have been shown to play a role.
Chronic urticarias are a group of inflammatory skin diseases that are caused by the inappropriate activation of mast cells in the skin. The particular type of urticaria is classified by the presence of a specific trigger of mast cell activation. In dermatographic urticaria, the trigger is physical abrasion of the skin (such as scratching or rubbing), whereas in cholinergic urticaria the trigger is an increase in body temperature. In idiopathic urticaria (also known as spontaneous urticaria), the cause of the urticaria is unknown. Common symptoms of urticaria include hives, edema, and severe itching with symptoms often lasting for many years. Between 15 and 25 percent of people in the United States will experience some form of urticaria in their life. While many urticaria patients are adequately treated by current therapies, such as high dose anti-histamines, a significant number of patients do not receive adequate benefit from current therapies and the disease continues to have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life. We estimate that approximately 200,000 patients with severe chronic spontaneous urticaria, cholinergic urticaria and symptomatic dermatographism could be candidates for therapy with AK002.
Indolent systemic mastocytosis (ISM) is a form of systemic mastocytosis, a disorder where there are increased numbers of mast cells throughout the body. The symptoms of ISM are caused by the increased release of mast cell mediators in tissue. The most common areas affected are the skin, gastrointestinal tract, musculoskeletal system and central nervous system. ISM affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States. There are no approved therapies for the treatment of ISM. Treatment options include antihistamines and/or corticosteroids, although most patients typically continue to experience significant symptoms and disease burden even while on these medications.
Allergic conjunctivitis is a form of allergic inflammation occurring in the conjunctiva, which is the tissue that lines the white of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelid. There are different forms of allergic conjunctivitis, such as atopic keratoconjunctivitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, and perennial allergic conjunctivits. Allergic conjunctivitis is often caused by airborne allergens, such as grass and tree pollens coming into contact with the eosinophils and mast cells in the eyes. Eosinophils and mast cells release inflammatory mediators that cause redness, swelling and itching. Allergic conjunctivitis is estimated to affect up to 40 percent of the U.S. population, with varying degrees of severity and duration. Existing treatments often do not completely prevent symptoms from occurring, especially in severe cases, and can have associated side effects that affect patient compliance. Severe chronic allergic conjunctivitis can result in permanent eye damage, such as corneal scarring and glaucoma, which can lead to blindness. We believe that approximately 50,000 to 150,000 patients in the United States suffer from severe AKC, VKC or PAC and could be candidates for treatment with AK002.