• Partnership to Advance Therapies in Autoimmune Disease

News & Views

Partnership to Advance Therapies in Autoimmune Disease

Feb 25 2019

Pathios Therapeutics, a developer of first in class therapies for autoimmune diseases and immuno-oncology is utilising Sygnature Discovery’s G Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR) target to accelerate its drug discovery and development programmes. Under the partnership agreement Sygnature are deploying their computational chemistry, library design and synthesis and medium throughput screening capability to broaden Pathios’ hit finding. As part of this agreement, Sygnature will receive equity in addition to fees.

GPR65, a pH sensing GPCR is characteristic of certain T helper 17 (Th17) cell populations which have been shown to contribute significantly to the pathology of autoimmune conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. In addition, recently published studies have demonstrated GPR65 drives tumour associated macrophages (TAM) to adopt a phenotype that supports cancer immune evasion.

“We founded Pathios to build on emerging science that demonstrated GPR65 sits at the nexus of autoimmune disease and immuno-oncology as this receptor links pathology caused by a low pH environment,” said Executive Chairman and co-Founder Tom McCarthy.

“The ultimate aim is to block the pathological process that GPR65 initiates without interfering with the physiological role of this receptor. In addition to developing potent and selective drugs to modulate GPR65, we are continuing to broaden the understanding of the fundamental biological processes that link to GPR65’s effects in Th17 cells, TAMs and other cell types. Our team has worked closely with Sygnature in the past and know they have the deep experience, expertise and state-of-the-art drug discovery and development infrastructure to drive our programme forward. I’m delighted on this rare occasion Sygnature also chose to invest in Pathios and expand our GPR65 drug discovery efforts while we explore Series A funding opportunities".

Simon Hirst, CEO of Sygnature, added: "We are extremely pleased to take this exceptional opportunity to partner with, and invest in Pathios on their drug discovery projects. Based on our diligence activities, we are excited about the potential for GPR65 modulation to be central to new treatments for autoimmune disease and a critical mechanism of action in next generation immuno-oncology drugs targeting the tumour micro-environment. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Tom and the rest of Pathios’ tremendously talented team again and contribute to the potential positive impact their therapeutics will have on patients’ lives.”


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