Immune Pharmaceuticals recently published new data on the impact of eotaxin-1 in ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). The article, “The Importance of Intestinal Eotaxin-1 in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: New Insights and Possible Therapeutic Implications,” was published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences.
Eotaxin-1 is a small protein that is involved in the recruitment of eosinophils (a type of white blood cells). The article presents the results of an observational clinical study characterizing serum and intestinal wall eotaxin-1 levels in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, and explores the effects of targeting eotaxin-1 by using specific antibodies in animal models.
The study was led by Prof. Eran Goldin, chairman of the Digestive Diseases Institute at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, an affiliate of Israel’s Hebrew University School of Medicine in Israel, and partially suported by an Immune Pharmaceuticals’ unlimited grant.
“The observational clinical study shows that tissue eotaxin-1 correlates with disease severity in both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease,” Goldin said in a press release. “Additionally, the classic DSS-mouse IBD model demonstrated that administration of anti-eotaxin-1 resulted in improvement in the inflammation and disease course of these mice.
“We believe that the results obtained in the clinical study support the role of eotaxin-1 as a target in IBD, a therapeutic area in which over half of patients fail to sustain remission. A first-in-class alternative to currently available therapies will offer a new treatment option,” Goldin said.
Immune Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to helping people suffering from inflammatory diseases and cancer. Among others in its pipeline, Immune’s lead candidate, bertilimumab (an eotaxin-1 inhibitor), is now in Phase 2 clinical development for moderate-to-severe UC, as well as for bullous pemphigoid, an orphan autoimmune condition of the skin.
In 2013, Immune filed a patent application for anti-eotaxin-1 monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
“There is room for improvement in treatment of IBD and maintenance of response,” said Monica Luchi, Immune’s CMO and EVP, Global Drug Development. “Immune’s goal is to focus on improving patient outcomes in this devastating illness. With bertilimumab, our eotaxin-1 inhibitor, patients who would be likely to respond based on eotaxin levels could be selected for treatment through precision medicine, either as first line biologic or in non-responders to current biologic standard of care. Our Phase 2a clinical study in ulcerative colitis continues to enroll, and we hope to have patient data by the end of 2016.”
For more information about this Phase 2a clinical trial and how to participate, click on this link.