ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Antegrin Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company developing novel therapies to treat fibrotic diseases, today announced the in-licensing of a series of orally bioavailable antagonists of multiple pro-fibrotic integrins. The compounds were originally discovered at the Center for World Health & Medicine (CWHM) at Saint Louis University and complement Antegrin’s growing portfolio of small-molecule drug candidates.
Fibrosis is a disorder involving progressive abnormal scarring of an organ and represents an urgent unmet medical need. Fibrotic diseases include idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, scleroderma, and others, many of which are orphan indications with no approved drug treatments.
Emerging biology suggests that multiple members of the integrin family of cell-surface receptors are capable of activating TGFβ, a cytokine that drives the fibrotic process. By simultaneously antagonizing the full suite of integrins that have been implicated in promoting fibrosis, Antegrin aims to address the limitations inherent in narrower approaches.
Proof of concept has now been obtained in a preclinical fibrosis model using oral delivery of a representative compound in the new series. Antegrin’s broad-spectrum integrin antagonists have previously demonstrated potent anti-fibrotic activity in models of lung, liver, renal, pancreatic, and surgical implant fibrosis.
“This technology recapitulates the profile of Antegrin’s earlier chemical series in terms of biological mechanism but represents a breakthrough in terms of drug-like properties,” said George Capps, CEO of Antegrin. “The licensing of these compounds is an important step towards Antegrin’s commercialization of effective integrin-targeting therapies.”
“This latest series of rationally designed, orally bioavailable compounds strengthens Antegrin’s portfolio of integrin antagonists and expands the range of fibrotic diseases that can be treated,” added Rajesh Devraj, Ph.D., chairman of Antegrin’s board. “We congratulate the scientists at CWHM for their innovation and look forward to building on their ground-breaking research as we advance our product candidates toward the clinic.”
Antegrin Therapeutics, Inc., is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing novel treatments for fibrotic diseases. The company aims to select its first clinical development candidate in 2016 and has received funding from BioGenerator, the Missouri Technology Corporation, the iSelect Fund, and other investors. For more information, please visit www.antegrin.com.
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