ROCK2 (Rho-associated protein kinase 2) inhibitors for the treatment of fibrosis

ROCK2 is an intracellular kinase with multiple cellular functions. ROCK2 signalling plays a key role in both the inflammatory component and the tissue re-modelling that drives disease progression. ROCK2 has been shown to be up-regulated in acute inflammatory injury and in chronic diseases such as diabetes. The interaction with key molecular pathways leads to the subsequent activation of cells in the fibrotic organ. By selectively targeting ROCK2, we can avoid the hypotensive side effects typically associated with systemic pan-ROCK inhibitors.

We aim to develop an orally administered selective ROCK2 inhibitor, to treat NASH/ liver fibrosis. Other diseases such as diabetic nephropathy (DN) and IPF, where a ROCK2 inhibitor will have benefit, are under investigation.