Immuron’s investigational therapy IMM-124E significantly reduced intestinal inflammation in mice models of chronic colitis, the company reports.
These results add to previous preclinical evidence showing the therapy to also of benefit in acute models of colitis, strengthening IMM-124E’s potential as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment.
A presentation of this data is set for the United European Gastroenterology Week conference set to take place in Vienna on October 20–24.
Colitis, an inflammation of the inner lining of the colon, includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Colitis results from complex interactions between the environment, genetic factors, immune responses, and the gut microbiome.
Immuron’s IMM-124E is designed to decrease the activity of pro-inflammatory immune cells, called T-cells, that are linked with chronic inflammation by neutralizing the activity of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) antigens — proteins that trigger a pro-inflammatory response. LPS endotoxins have been identified as important triggers of inflammation in colitis, IBD and autoimmune diseases.
IMM-124E effects may even be strengthened by the use of additional (adjuvant) treatments that promote other pathways involved in inflammation control.
After onset of colitis symptoms — weight loss and inflammation of the colon — the mice were treated with oral IMM-124E. Treatment significantly eased several colitis symptoms, including the weight loss and signs of colon inflammation. Reduced disease severity as seen in lower disease activity scores, and a reduced shortening of the colon were also reported.
“Our results clearly demonstrate that treatment with IMM-124E significantly reduces intestinal inflammation via reducing the accumulation and differentiation of pathogenic T cells, while concomitantly enhancing the induction of regulatory cells,” Gerhard Rogler, professor of gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, and this study’s lead researcher, said in a press release. “Summarized, our findings indicate that IMM-124E administration represents a novel therapeutic strategy to induce or maintain remission in IBD patients.”
He added that this work also was the final preclinical test of IMM-124E “in our established colitis animal models” planned.
IMM-124E is currently under clinical testing in Phase 2 trials — one for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH, NCT02316717) and the other for severe alcoholic steatohepatitis (NCT01968382), both advanced stages of fatty liver disease.