Inhibition of PKCtheta as a therapeutic target has the potential to treat multiple inflammatory diseases
Los Altos, California, USA and Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan – Dec. 10, 2020 – Evommune, Inc., a private R&D company and innovation engine in chronic inflammation, and Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Inc. (Axcelead), a Japanese solution provider in drug discovery research, today announced they have started an exclusive partnership for a late-stage discovery program. The goal of the program will be to identify a potent and highly specific PKCtheta inhibitor, which could have broad utility across a spectrum of inflammatory diseases. The PKCtheta program is originated from Axcelead’s Hit-identified Target (A-HiT) project. In this program, Evommune and Axcelead will continue to collaboratively carry out lead optimization research.
“This program lays the foundation for our new pipeline and aligns with our goal of providing new treatment options for patients living with chronic inflammatory conditions,” said Luis Peña, president and chief executive officer of Evommune. “We are impressed with the progress Axcelead has made on this program which leaves Evommune poised to identify multiple molecules for clinical development.”
“Over-activation of effector T-cells and the failure of anti-inflammatory regulatory T-cells to control this response are at the crux of many chronic inflammatory diseases”, said Hans Hofland, senior vice president, research. “PKCtheta inhibition suppresses effector T-cells, while activating regulatory T-cells. This dual-acting role in T-cell biology makes PKCtheta a highly attractive target for the treatment of a broad range of inflammatory diseases.”
“Our mission is to contribute to the discovery of innovative drugs as the best partner for people engaged in drug discovery, based on the technology and know-how we have accumulated through our research in the pharmaceutical industry and the vast amount of drug discovery data we have collected,” said Yoshinori Ikeura, chief executive officer of Axcelead. “We are delighted to collaborate with Evommune to contribute to their new pipeline and to deliver a therapeutic drug to patients suffering from inflammatory diseases, as soon as possible.”
PKCtheta, a member of the protein kinase C (PKC) family of kinases, is primarily expressed in T-cells and has a dual role in T-cell biology. First, activation of PKCtheta leads to effector T-cell activation, proliferation, and production of IL-2. Second, inhibition of PKCtheta (genetic knockouts or pharmacological inhibition) leads to an increase in both the numbers and functionality of regulatory T-cells. Mice lacking functional PKCtheta are highly resistant to inflammatory diseases. Genetic variants within the gene for PKCtheta have been associated with many inflammatory diseases. Potential indications include rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and Crohn’s disease.
About Evommune, Inc.
Evommune is a private, R&D company and innovation engine in chronic inflammation. Evommune is taking a tissue-based approach to advance insights and accelerate the development of transformative medicines in inflammatory diseases. Evommune was founded in 2020 by a successful and experienced leadership team focused on building a robust pipeline of unique therapies that help patients with chronic inflammatory diseases. The company is headquartered in Los Altos, California. For more information, please visit Evommune.com.
About Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Inc.
Axcelead is the first integrated drug discovery solutions provider in the pharmaceutical industry in Japan, having succeeded the drug discovery research capabilities of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and started its business on July 1, 2017. The company provides integrated services, from discovery of drug targets to optimization of small- and medium-molecule drug candidates, in which the company has particular expertise, and to the process of bridging the gap to clinical development. A-HiT Project is a library of potential drug candidates and optimized evaluation systems for a variety of drug targets. For more information, please visit https://www.axcelead.com/en/
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