UK-based Redx Pharma said it expects to start first-in-man studies with RXC006 during 2020 as the first pre-clinical data of the drug candidate has suggested that the compound has great potential as a fibrosis treatment.
RXC006 is being developed as an orally administered and first-in-class treatment for the orphan disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), which is a chronic lung condition.
RXC006, which is a potent porcupine inhibitor protected by distinct intellectual property, has a predicted human PK profile that can dose regimens to balance efficacy with potential side effects.
The preclinical studies demonstrate that XC006 was effective at suppressing the Wnt pathway, in addition to suppress lung fibrosis, in vivo.
Suppression of fibrosis was also demonstrated in animal models of both liver and kidney fibrosis.
During the studies, the RXC006 was specifically effective at suppressing the release of Wnt-5a from human lung fibroblasts at nanomolar concentrations and reduce fibroblast activation.
It helped to reduce collagen deposition and significantly impacted Ashcroft scores when dosed therapeutically in two separate mouse models of disease.
Redx is planning to begin the first-in-man studies with RXC006 in 2020.
Germany’s University of Erlangen-Nuremberg internal medicine professor Dr Jörg Distler and novel anti-fibrotic therapies development key opinion leader Dr Jörg Distler said: “Wnt pathway inhibition presents a novel and exciting opportunity to treat fibrotic diseases, I truly support the idea of targeting the porcupine enzyme.”
The scientific evidence showed that the Wnt pathway is critically engaged in the scarring process (fibrosis) in the lung.
Porcupine inhibition enables to suppress the release of all Wnt ligands and eliminate one of the crucial drivers of fibrosis in IPF.
According to the company, the median survival from IPF diagnosis is three years and the annual incidence is between 6.8-16.3/100,000 population in the US.
Redx Pharma chief scientific officer Dr Richard Armer said: “The data suggests that RXC006 has great potential to treat fibrosis in human patients. Redx are progressing RXC006 towards the clinic for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and plan to initiate first in man clinical trials during 2020.”
Redx is engaged in the development of novel precision medicines for oncology and fibrotic diseases.