Cambrian BioPharma has unveiled its latest pipeline company, Isterian Biotech.
The preclinical start-up is working towards the development of first-in-class small molecule inhibitors of transglutaminase 2 (TG2), one of the major crosslinking enzymes in the human body, which becomes more active during ageing, resulting in fibrotic diseases.
With age a chronic increase of crosslinked proteins occurs in the extracellular matrix (ECM). These crosslinked proteins are difficult for the body to degrade and over time make organs stiff and dysfunctional, ultimately resulting in fibrosis. Reversing the accumulation of these pathological crosslinks will greatly contribute to reducing fibrosis.
“Notably, for one of our highly potent and selective TG2 inhibitors, we have recently demonstrated efficacy in a mouse model of lung fibrosis for the first time,” said Isterian President and Chairman of the Board, Georg C Terstappen.
The company was founded based on scientific research by Professor Martin Griffin and his team of researchers at Aston University, Birmingham, UK.
Their work with small molecule inhibitors selective for TG2 has demonstrated reduction of fibrosis in multiple organs in animal models. In 2019, Aston University partnered with Cambrian to form Isterian Biotech with a mission to develop safe and effective TG2 inhibitors to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
“We are very thankful to find brilliant scientists such as Martin and his team that are willing to break the mold,” said CEO of Cambrian BioPharma James Peyer. “Isterian and its work to reduce fibrosis are a perfect fit alongside the other pipeline companies our team has announced in 2022.”
The company’s current pipeline includes an advanced preclinical-stage TG2 inhibitor for inhaled administration and several structurally unrelated back-up compounds for the treatment of IPF.