Our approach to drug development in fibrosis combines our deep knowledge of the biology of fibrosis with various cellular, tissue, and in vivo assays we have developed to interrogate the biology of fibrosis and uncover pathways and potential targets.
In the first step of our process, we examine healthy and fibrotic human tissue to develop an expanding quantitative atlas of gene and protein expression across a host of fibrotic diseases. This database informs target selection and provides biological evidence for the indications we choose to pursue.
Once we identify a target through the atlas, we screen our library of over 7,000 integrin binding molecules for activity against the target. This library is fully annotated and serves as a source of potential development candidates. In addition to screening against targets discovered through the target atlas, this library offers the potential to select “off-the-shelf” candidates for potential partnering opportunities.
As part of our preclinical testing of identified development candidates, we use live human fibrotic disease tissue to test our compounds for antifibrotic activity. This differentiated approach bridges from animal models to human patients, reducing risk in clinical testing and fuels our highly productive discovery engine.
The compounds we discover address fibrosis in a variety of organs and conditions, including the lung (IPF), liver (primary sclerosing cholangitis, NASH and liver fibrosis), kidney (renal fibrosis), skin (systemic sclerosis and keloids), muscle (Duchenne muscular dystrophy) and the gastrointestinal tract (intestinal fibrosis in inflammatory bowel disease).