A balanced immune state is critical for normal functioning of the human body. A suppressed immune state can make us vulnerable to many diseases, including cancer and infections. On the other hand, an overactive and dysregulated immune state underlies many diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis, Crohn's disease, blindness, lupus, etc. The total immuno-inflammatory market is expected to exceed $128 B by 2023.
Malignant fungating wounds (MFW) occurs in 5-14% of advanced cancer patients. Globally, there are atleast 10 million patients with advanced cancers, and hence there are atleast 0.5M to 1.4M patients with MFW. Symptoms include extreme malodor, heavy exudate, inflammation and severe pain. The odor leads to feeling of shame, low self-esteem, and social isolation of patients. There are no approved drugs. Patients are being managed with sub-optimal off-label treatments. There is an unmet need for an effective treatment that can reduce the symptoms of MFW and improve the quality of life of patients.
We are developing VB1953A gel for the treatment of symptoms of malignant fungating wound. Via a dual mechanism, VB1953 targets DNA-gyrase to remove the drivers of malodor and inhibits TLR-MD2 inflammation pathway to reduce inflammation and pain. As MFW is a rare and unmet medical condition, it offers an attractive clinical regulatory path to develop VB1953A.
In uveitis, the immune system attacks the uvea of the eye. Worldwide, the prevalence of uveitis ranges from 69 to 204 per 100,000 persons. It is one of the most common causes of blindness in the US. Steroids and Humira (only for intermediate, posterior and pan uveitis) are approved by the FDA for treatment of uveitis. However, steroids have multiple side-effects and contraindicated in many patients.
We are developing VT1908 for the treatment of uveitis in patients, who are non-responders or incompatible to steroids. VT1908 sterile eye drop inhibits Inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase, a key enzyme in immune cells viability. In preclinical studies, VT1908 was comparable to steroids in decreasing the infiltrating immune cells in the eye in a uveitis model, and holds the promise of replacing the use of steroids in treating immune-related diseases of the eye. As steroid non-responsive or incompatible uveitis remains an unmet and rare medical condition, it offers an attractive clinical regulatory path to develop VT1908.
Acne is a chronic inflammatory condition on the skin, which has impact of the psychosocial condition of the patient. Acne affects over 50M patients annually in US alone. Its pathophysiology includes hyperseborrhea, abnormal follicular keratinization and Propionibacterium acnes proliferation in the pilosebaceous unit. Only two classes of drugs, lincomycin (Clindamycin) and tetracycline (Doxycycline, Minocycline, Sarecycline) have been approved to target Propionibacterium acnes proliferation in acne. The widespread use of these drugs have resulted in resistant Propionibacterium acnes strains that no longer respond to these drugs.
We are developing VB1953 gel for the treatment of acne in patients, who are non-responders or incompatible to the above drugs. VB1953 targets DNA-gyrase in Propionibacterium acnes resistant to approved drugs and inhibits TLR-MD2 inflammation pathway to reduce inflammation and pain in patients. In clinical trials, VB1953 has shown excellent safety and best in class efficacy, including in patients who previously didn't respond to clindamycin.