What is JOTROL?
JOTROL is a modified version of a natural compound called resveratrol found in the skin of red grapes, peanuts and berries. JOTROL has been developed by a company called Jupiter Orphan Therapeutics based in the USA.
How does it work?
JOTROL is an oral medication that works by delivering increased amounts of resveratrol to the bloodstream. JOTROL may also minimise some of the side effects that have been reported when resveratrol is taken at high doses needed for a therapeutic effect.
What is it supposed to do?
Resveratrol is an antioxidant that may improve mitochondrial function by reducing the formation of damaging chemicals, known as reactive oxygen species, which are produced during normal energy production. Resveratrol may also trigger the production of new mitochondria, a process known as mitochondrial biogenesis, which could increase the amount of energy the mitochondria can produce and alleviate some of the symptoms of mitochondrial disease.
It is thought that JOTROL will enhance these effects by increasing the bioavailability and absorption of resveratrol and reducing the risk of potential side effects.
Is it a cure?
Unfortunately not. JOTROL cannot correct the underlying genetic defect that causes mitochondrial disease.
What types of mitochondrial diseease could it treat?
Although preclinical research has suggested that JOTROL has the potential to treat mitochondrial disease, the current unpublished evidence is based on research using a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and needs to be investigated further.
Jupiter plan to trial JOTROL as a possible treatment for MELAS syndrome in the first instance but expect it to be effective for other mitochondrial diseases.
Have there been any trials of JOTROL?
There have been no clinical trials of JOTROL but there have been numerous trials of resveratrol for conditions other than mitochondrial disease. This includes a phase 2 trial of resveratrol for a condition called Friedreich’s Ataxia, which is not a primary mitochondrial disorder but does have a mitochondrial component. According to the CEO of Jupiter, the trial “generated very encouraging results” and the company are hopeful that on this basis, JOTROL can provide a meaningful treatment for patients with a number of other conditions, including mitochondrial disease. With this in mind, Jupiter are expected to begin a trial for MELAS syndrome in the second half of 2018.
In August 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted orphan drug status to JOTROL. This aims to advance both the evaluation and development of drugs that have the potential to treat rare diseases and should make it easier for the drug to gain marketing approval.