Lead Product

DM199 - Human Recombinant Tissue Kallikrien (rhKLK-1) Protein

DM199 is a recombinant form of human tissue kallikrein-1 (“KLK1”). KLK1 is a serine protease (protein) produced in the pancreas, kidneys and salivary glands, which plays a critical role in the regulation of local blood flow and vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels which decreases blood pressure) in the body, as well as an important role in inflammation and oxidative stress (an imbalance between potentially damaging reactive oxygen species, or free radicals, and antioxidants in your body) via release of nitric oxide and prostacyclin. DM199 has the potential to treat a variety of diseases where healthy functioning requires sufficient activity of KLK1 and its system, the kallikrein-kinin system (“KKS”). The primary focus for our DM199 program development is on chronic kidney diseases and acute ischemic stroke.

KLK1 is involved in multiple biochemical processes. The most well-characterized activity of KLK1 is its enzymatic cleavage of low molecular weight kininogen (“LMWK”) to produce bradykinin (“BK”)-like peptides, collectively known as kinins, which activate BK receptors (BK1R, BK2R) to release nitric oxide and prostacyclin. Activation of BK receptors by kinins sets in motion metabolic pathways that can improve blood flow (through vasodilation), dampen inflammation, and protect tissues and end-organs from ischemic damage. Scientific literature, including publications in Circulation, Research, Immunopharmacology and Kidney International, suggests that lower endogenous KLK1 levels in patients are associated with diseases related to vascular disorders, such as kidney diseases, stroke and hypertension. DM199 could replenish endogenous KLK1 to properly activate the BK system producing nitric oxide and prostacyclin that protects the kidney and brain from damage. By providing this additional supply of KLK1, DM199 treatment could improve blood flow to damaged end-organs, such as kidneys and brain, supporting the structural integrity and normal functioning.


DiaMedica believes DM199 has the potential to treat a broad spectrum of clinical scenarios where re-establishing blood flow and reducing inflammation in patients is vital to preserving organ function (e.g. brain, kidney, and heart).

For patients suffering from kidney disease, studies have shown that KLK1 excretion, or levels of KLK1 in the urine, significantly decreased in patients with mild kidney disease and was further reduced in patients with severe renal failure requiring dialysis as compared to healthy subjects, as illustrated in the graph below.

Lower KLK1 Levels

Lower KLK1 levels are associated with initial stroke events and are also a predictor of stroke recurrence after an initial stroke. As shown in the graph below, the red line represents patients in the lowest KLK1 quartile who are at the highest risk for recurrence of stroke. (2,478 stroke patients and event free survival over 5 years).

Lower KLK1 Level