Our ROCK inhibitor is a potential first-in-class clinical candidate designed to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) related fibrosis.
Our programme aims to address the high unmet need in the treatment of IBD patients with fibrosis. The current management of symptoms is primarily surgical as there are no anti-fibrotic drugs approved and fibrosis continues despite intervention with anti-inflammatory therapies.
ROCK1 and ROCK2 are intracellular kinases with multiple functions, and have shown to be implicated at various points in pathways leading to fibrosis. However, systemic ROCK1/2 inhibitors (known as systemic pan-Rock inhibitors) are known to induce hypotension, and are therefore unlikely to be tolerated. Our ROCK inhibitor is designed to only work at the site of action in the gastrointestinal tract and degrades quickly, once absorbed, through enzyme-mediated metabolism in the blood – deeming it a “soft” inhibitor.
Prophylactic and therapeutic effects on fibrosis by a soft ROCK inhibitor have been demonstrated in multiple animal models.
Our soft ROCK inhibitor is designed to prevent surgical intervention thereby improving patients’ lives.