InflammatoRx is a biotechnology company that is focused on the development of antibodies inhibiting chronic inflammation through a novel target, the S100A9 protein. The company has already demonstrated that blocking the S100A9 protein significantly decreases chronic inflammation in several animal models of inflammation and autoimmune disorders, namely in rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, gouty arthritis and respiratory infection caused by S. pneumonia. InflammatoRx has selected an antibody with almost complete blocking activity against the S100A9 protein. This antibody has been humanized and is ready to enter preclinical toxicology.
Former President and CEO of biotech company NeoKemia, where she developed two preclinical candidates from a bank of compounds with novel chemical structure. She then merged the company with a US-based biotech, to create a fully integrated drug discovery company and arranged financing for the merged entity.
InflammatoRx’s technology is based on a novel target, the myeloid-related protein (MRP, S100 protein family), which is involved in different steps of the inflammatory response. In fact, these cytokines induce leukocyte mobilization from the bone marrow, as well as their migration and activation in tissues. They act as amplifiers of leukocyte migration during inflammation. They are also potent inducers of cytokine production like TNFα, IL-1β and IL-6 by lymphocytes and monocytes and activate neutrophils to phagocytose and release tissue-degrading enzymes and oxygen radicals that can degrade the surrounding tissue during chronic inflammation. Thus they not only direct the migration of leukocytes to the site of inflammation, but also activate the leukocytes to perpetuate the inflammatory response. As such, they represent a very promising new therapeutic target for the control of inflammation. This technology is covered by issued patents in the United States and in Europe.
Anti-S100A9 antibodies have been developed and have been shown to inhibit the migration of neutrophils to inflammatory sites in several mouse of chronic inflammation. In fact, animal models of gouty arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease have shown that anti-S100 antibodies have anti-inflammatory activity at least equivalent to that of anti-TNF antibodies (see figures below). In addition, anti-S100A9 prevented bone degradation in a mouse model of arthritis (see figure on the next page), as well as the release of IL-6. Furthermore, S100A9 knock-out mice have been produced and remain healthy and able to produce acute inflammatory reactions in response to infections. Therefore, these therapeutic monoclonal antibodies have a strong potential for the development of biological treatments specific for chronic inflammation, without affecting host responses to infection.
Fig. 1. Efficacy of anti-S100A9 versus that of anti-TNF in a mouse model of Crohn’s disease
Fig. 2. Anti-S100A9 antibody reduced bone destruction in a mouse model of arthritis
Products and Indications
InflammatoRx is seeking a development and commercialization partner to co-develop the humanized anti-S100A9 antibody in man. The company will consider partners with expertise in clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialization of antibodies and/or biologics.
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