Opsona Therapeutics in-licenses novel anti-inflammatory molecule from Nestlé
Dublin, Ireland - 21 November 2007
Opsona Therapeutics Ltd (Dublin, Ireland) announced today that it has in-licensed a novel pre-clinical soluble protein from Nestlé (Vevey, Switzerland) which the Nestlé Research Centre has shown to be capable of modulating the human immune system.
The protein is a natural modulator of the innate immune system, which acts to suppress inflammation. It is found in human breast milk and serum, and the levels of expression of this protein increase upon infection or following a myocardial infarction, two events which can lead to inflammatory damage.
The potential application of this protein in disease extends to a number of inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis amongst other acute and chronic inflammatory diseases.
This license adds another key product to Opsona’s growing pipeline of molecules which are capable of modulating the innate immune system.
The innate immune system is a key driver of inflammatory diseases and one of Opsona’s founders, Professor Luke O’Neill, a Professor at Trinity College Dublin, is pioneering the field. “Targeting the innate immune system with new drugs is a very exciting prospect and this natural modulator could have great potential as a wholly new therapeutic approach for inflammatory diseases” said Prof O’Neill.
Commenting on the deal, Opsona’s CEO, Dr Mark Heffernan, said “this product further strengthens our growing intellectual property portfolio and product pipeline of molecules which are able to modulate the innate immune system, particularly Toll-like Receptors.”
He added, “The fact that this product is found naturally in humans implies it has an important and protective effect on the newborn and adult in controlling infection and inflammatory diseases.” The terms of the license agreement are not disclosed. However, Opsona will now take this product towards clinical development as a pharmaceutical product.
Opsona is a drug development company, focused on novel therapeutic and preventative approaches to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The company was founded in 2004 as a Trinity College campus company, with three of Trinity’s respected Immunologists.
The company is specifically interested in the fields of the innate immune system, specifically Toll-Like Receptors (TLR). Opsona has a pipeline of new therapeutics in advanced pre-clinical development which modulate the innate immune system. Opsona is working on a variety of approaches to modulating the immune system, including biologics, peptides and small molecules.
The company has signed some significant partnering and collaborative deals, such as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (USA) and Phylogica (Au).
The company is based at the Ashford House (Second Floor), Tara Street, Dublin.
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