OMass Therapeutics has shared its pipeline of five novel, differentiated small molecule drug programmes, targeting intractable or inadequately drugged membrane and complex-bound protein targets such as GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors), solute carriers and intracellular protein complexes.
The company’s selected programmes focus on validated targets in immunology & rare disease indications with high unmet need. The programmes include:
- MC2 (melanocortin-2), a GPCR that binds to ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). OMass is aiming to develop an insurmountable antagonist with a best-in-class profile for rare endocrine disorders, including, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and Cushing’s Disease;
- Gasdermin D, a pore forming protein that leads to pyroptosis and the release of multiple cytokines. OMass will have the first and only Gasdermin D inhibitor to target a broad range of immunological conditions – a pipeline in a product;
- GPR65 (G Protein-Coupled Receptor 65), the dominant proton sensing receptor on immune cells. OMass has the first and only agonist targeting Inflammatory Bowel Disease;
- KCC2/SLC12A5 (Potassium chloride transporter, solute carrier family 12 member 5), the major extruder of intracellular chloride in mature neurons and has been broadly implicated in multiple indications related to seizures;
- SLC15A4 (Solute carrier family 15 member 4), a highly validated solute carrier in immunological disorders being developed for Lupus and other IFN (interferon)-opathies.
This platform is comprised of novel biochemistry techniques, next generation native mass spectrometry and custom chemistry, which can be used to interrogate a wide spectrum of targets and how they interact in their native ecosystems, separate from the complexity of the cell. A process of target selection has prioritised the most promising targets to be progressed into development.
Rosamond Deegan, OMass CEO, said: “Small molecule drug discovery has historically focused on targets that operate in relative isolation such as enzymes. However, many of the best targets operate within an ecosystem such as a membrane or an intracellular complex. To drug these targets, we need to interrogate their full scope of physical interactions within the ecosystem. This is what our platform enables us to do.”
The OMass pipeline focuses on targets with high probability of success with a focus on targets that have a genetic association with disease and can enable pathway-linked patient selection or immune signature stratification in clinical trials. OMass’ strategy is to develop its own pipeline in rare and specialty immunology indications, and to partner assets that have broader indications, as well as executing strategic discovery collaborations outside of its core area of focus.
Dr Edward Hodgkin, OMass Chairman, added: “OMass has the team in place to build a sustainable business and a platform with the potential to revolutionise discovery of innovative small molecule therapeutics against targets which have hitherto been intractable due to their complex ecosystems. To drug these targets, we need to interrogate their full spectrum of physical interactions within the native ecosystem. This is what makes OMass different – an ability to go after the best targets for patients.”
Image credit: OMass