News Feature | April 8, 2014

Domainex Announces Promising Results For Cytokine Inhibitors Program

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Domainex Ltd. announced the successful completion of a series of laboratory studies evaluating its proprietary selective inhibitors of IKK-epsilon and TBK1 in inflammation studies. The results show promise in the search for new treatments of inflammatory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In four separate studies examining the in vivo effects of the IKKe/TBK1 inhibitors, a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge mimicking the effect of inflammatory disease was delivered either to the lungs or systemically. The orally delivered compounds showed inhibition of the expression of several pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF-alpha, IL-7 beta, and IL-6. The cytokine inhibitors also maintained prolonged activity against many of the cytokines for at least 20 hours, the company reported in its press release.

Trevor Perrior, Domainex’s Director of Research, said, “These exciting results clearly show that Domainex’s program on IKKe/TBK1 offers the prospect of new treatments for a number of inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and COPD. It’s also very significant that the compounds can be delivered orally, because in many of these diseases — such as psoriasis and COPD — patients are in great need of effective oral medicines.”

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a serious respiratory disease characterized by a combination of emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and small airway disease. According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease affects 64 million people worldwide. WHO forecasts that COPD will become the third leading cause of death around the world by 2030.

The IKKe/TBK1 program is first-in-class and has the potential to offer a disease-modifying treatment for COPD patients, in contrast to existing therapies which merely provide symptomatic relief.

Eddy Littler, Domainex’s CEO, said, “This is a major achievement by Domainex and we will build upon this success with further in vivo models of inflammatory diseases. Our first disease model will be for COPD, a disease which has high medical need and enormous commercial potential.  Our compounds are likely to achieve the highly-attractive profile of being safe, effective, and orally-delivered anti-inflammatory compounds.”

The company said it will continue research of the compounds as potential treatments for COPD and other inflammatory disease. Domainex hopes to initiate partnership of the program and to advance into Phase I clinical trials.