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Cambrian Unveils New Pipeline Company Isterian Biotech to Focus on Fibrotic Diseases

January 12, 2023

Cambrian BioPharma, a multi-asset longevity biotech, unveiled Isterian Biotech, a preclinical start-up 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 that becomes more active with aging resulting in fibrotic diseases.

With age a chronic increase of crosslinked proteins occurs in the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is a large network of proteins and other molecules that surround, support, and give structure to the cells and tissues in the body. 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.

Isterian was founded by capitalizing on more than 35 years of visionary scientific research from the laboratory of 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 a number of 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), a rare, progressive, irreversible, and ultimately fatal lung disease characterized by pathological crosslinking of ECM proteins and excess deposition of collagen, resulting in severe restriction of lung capacity and function. IPF affects between 200,000 and 300,000 in the Western world and with only very limited treatment options available, remains a very substantial unmet medical need.

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.

“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 Georg Terstappen, president and chairman of Isterian. “Using this state-of-the-art approach to drug discovery combined with an impressive team gives us great confidence in the future of this novel company.”

Photo: Georg Terstappen, Isterian president and chairman

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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