BOSTON, July 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- IFM Therapeutics, LLC (IFM), a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies that modulate novel targets in the innate immune system, today announced the launch of IFM Tre, a subsidiary company developing a suite of different NLRP3 antagonists that can potentially block the inflammatory responses underlying a variety of serious diseases. The Company also announced the completion of a $31 million Series A financing round for IFM Tre, with participation from Atlas Venture, Abingworth, Bristol-Myers Squibb and IFM's management. IFM Tre will focus exclusively on NLRP3, while work on other programs exploring different pathways within the innate immune system will continue in other subsidiaries within the unified IFM umbrella.
"Our NLRP3 antagonist programs are exciting for their potential to bring safer and more effective treatments to patients suffering from diseases caused by inappropriate inflammation," said Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of IFM. "Based on substantial preclinical and translational data suggesting the therapeutic effects of NLRP3 inhibition, we believe our small molecules may selectively reduce the immune responses that cause the body to attack itself and prevent overactive inflammation from occurring. We have made substantial progress in our NLRP3 portfolio and look forward to bringing our candidates forward into the clinic."
Normally, the NLRP3 inflammasome activates immune responses to protect against pathogenic threats. However, abnormal activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome drives the onset and progression of numerous conditions, including metabolic, fibrotic, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative diseases. Each of these areas represents significant unmet medical need and disease areas of interest to IFM.
IFM Tre's programs target the innate immune system by suppressing only the inflammation mediated by the NLRP3 pathway. This approach leaves other immune pathways unsuppressed and free to produce inflammatory responses to confront harmful pathogens – the way the body's immune system is designed to work. IFM Tre's pipeline consists of three distinct preclinical development programs targeting NLRP3:
- A lead candidate that systemically inhibits the activity of NLRP3 outside the central nervous system by directly binding to the protein, thereby preventing the shape change that leads to the maturation of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and IL-18. Phase I trials with healthy volunteers are expected to begin in 2019;
- A gut-directed NLRP3 candidate, which, in addition to use as a single-agent therapy for inflammatory bowel disease, could have ideal compatibility as a combination agent with systemic immunosuppressive drug regimens to enhance efficacy without impacting patient safety;
- A CNS-penetrant NLRP3 antagonist candidate for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory conditions.
"Based on seminal discoveries on the role of NLRP3 in health and disease made by two of IFM Tre's co-founders, Eicke Latz, M.D., Ph.D. and Luigi Franchi, M.D., Ph.D., IFM Tre has established a very broad effort to advance multiple compounds that block this target," added H. Martin Seidel, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of R&D. "We are tremendously excited by the promise that targeting NLRP3 holds for bringing new treatment options to patients."
About IFM Tre
IFM Tre, a subsidiary of IFM Therapeutics, LLC, is a biopharmaceutical company developing a suite of small-molecule antagonists targeting inappropriate inflammatory responses of the innate immune system via the NLRP3 pathway, which is believed to underlie a variety of serious diseases. The Company is developing chemically distinct systemic, gut-directed and CNS-penetrant drug candidates to address a breadth of indications triggered by NLRP3, including metabolic, fibrotic, autoimmune, autoinflammatory, and neurodegenerative diseases.
About IFM Therapeutics, LLC
IFM Therapeutics, LLC is a privately held biopharmaceutical company based in Boston, Massachusetts. The company was founded by an international group of preeminent scientists and physicians who have spent decades understanding innate immunity and the role it plays in regulating the immune system. IFM's team has discovered and developed small molecules that modulate novel targets in the innate immune system as next-generation therapies for cancer, auto-immunity, and inflammatory disorders. For more information, please visit www.ifmthera.com.
SOURCE IFM Therapeutics, LLC