SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The potential efficacy of epsi-gam, the lead drug candidate from Tunitas Therapeutics aimed at the treatment of severe allergy and asthma, has been demonstrated in a new preclinical study presented today by company scientists and collaborators. The results demonstrate that epsi-gam significantly improves pulmonary function and reduces inflammation in a clinically relevant animal model of dust-mite allergic asthma. The findings are being presented in a poster session at the American Thoracic Society International Conference, being held from May 13-18 in San Francisco.
Epsi-gam is a bi-functional human fusion protein which links the IgE receptor with an inhibitory receptor on mast cells, basophils and IgE-producing B cells. This novel mechanism results in the induction of negative intracellular signaling, thereby inhibiting the function of these cells and blocking the allergic response. In the presented study, dust-mite sensitive animals were challenged with allergen and those treated with epsi-gam experienced significant improvement in pulmonary function and reductions in inflammation. These effects were seen for a prolonged period after treatment with a single dose of human epsi-gam (hEG) or three doses of rhesus epsi-gam (rEG) delivered at four-week intervals. Allergen-induced bronchoconstriction was attenuated for up to 6 weeks after the single dose of hEG and for up to 11 weeks after the third administration of rEG.
"There are 2-3 million asthmatics in the United States whose condition is not well-controlled by current therapies, and asthma accounts for more than 2 million emergency room visits and 10 million outpatient visits annually," said Nolan Sigal, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Tunitas Therapeutics, Inc. "We have been very encouraged by the results of the preclinical studies of epsi-gam, which have supported its entry into human clinical testing earlier this year. We expect to have top-line results from our current Australian Phase 1 safety study of epsi-gam later this year and to expand testing to the United States in 2017."
About Tunitas Therapeutics
Tunitas Therapeutics, Inc. (South San Francisco) is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapeutics designed to transform the treatment of patients with serious allergic diseases. Its proprietary platform facilitates the generation of fusion proteins that target novel inhibitory pathways on allergic cells, leading to inhibition of the key mediators of allergic hypersensitivity and the production of IgE, the antibody class that triggers the allergic response. Epsi-gam, the company's lead drug candidate, is designed as a long-term treatment for any IgE-mediated disease, including asthma and severe food allergy. The molecule has recently entered phase 1 clinical trials. Specific treatments for cat allergy and peanut allergy will follow epsi-gam into the clinic. For more information on Tunitas Therapeutics, please visit the company's website at http://www.tunitastherapeutics.com.
Nolan H. Sigal, M.D., Ph.D.
President & CEO
Tunitas Therapeutics, Inc.
(415) 821 2413
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SOURCE Tunitas Therapeutics, Inc.