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GPCR Signs IPF Agreement with Bridge Biotherapeutics in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

December 14, 2023

South Korean biotech GPCR Therapeutics entered into an out-licensing agreement with South Korea-based Bridge Biotherapeutics for the CXCR4-LPA1 inhibitor combination method to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive chronic lung condition that causes scarring (fibrosis) of a patients’ lungs which makes breathing increasingly difficult as the lungs become stiffer and lose their elasticity. The lungs become less efficient at transferring oxygen so that when someone with IPF breathes in, the transfer of oxygen through air sacs in their lungs and into their blood stream is impaired. Lung damage from IPF is irreversible, and there is currently no treatment that stops or reverses the scarring. In the United States there are around 495 cases per 100,000 people, with median survival estimated at 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis.

In September, GPCR published a paper on the direct interaction between two different GPCRs, CXCR4 and LPA1, in the peer-reviewed academic journal Cell Communication and Signaling. The target GPCRs are known to promote fibrotic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Through various in vitro experiments, the company found that the efficacy of LPA1 inhibition can be further maximized by inhibition of CXCR4, thereby securing a scientific basis that the CXCR4- LPA1 inhibitor combination may be necessary for full anti-fibrotic activity. Based on this finding, GPCR filed a provisional patent application on the CXCR4-LPA1 inhibitor combination method of treatment.

“Since the publication of our paper, various global companies have expressed interest in the relationship between LPA1 and CXCR4 and its inhibitory effect,” said Dong Seung Seen, founder and CEO of GPCR Therapeutics. “Due to the versatility of our patent, we look forward to collaborating with many IPF-targeting companies, starting with Bridge Biotherapeutics.”

GPCR and Bridge Biotherapeutics will jointly develop and commercialize the combination therapy. Under their agreement, GPCR will receive an upfront payment of $1.5 million (KRW 2 billion), and a 50:50 profit-share on future commercialization, including sub-licenses.

“Our collaboration will help us move forward to identifying and bringing novel treatment of IPF, such as a combination therapy of LPA1 and CXCR4 inhibitor, based on GPCR’s latest research,” said James Lee, founder and CEO of Bridge Biotherapeutics.

Photo: James Lee, founder and CEO of Bridge Biotherapeutics

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