Targeting Intestinal Barrier Function
IMU-856, which Immunic believes to be novel and highly innovative, is an orally available, small molecule modulator that targets a protein which serves as a transcriptional regulator of the intestinal barrier function. Immunic has not yet disclosed the molecular target for IMU-856. Based on preclinical data, Immunic believes this compound represents a new and potentially disruptive treatment approach, as the mechanism of action targets the restoration of the intestinal barrier function in patients suffering from diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, immune checkpoint inhibitor induced colitis and other intestinal barrier function associated diseases. Immunic believes that because IMU-856 avoids suppression of the immune functions, it should therefore maintain immune surveillance for patients.
IMU-856 is currently in advanced preclinical testing. Completion of the preclinical and manufacturing activities that are necessary for the initiation of phase 1 clinical studies of IMU-856 is expected during the first half of 2020. In November 2018, Tokyo-based Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. granted Immunic an exclusive global option to license a group of compounds, designated by Immunic as IMU-856. Under this agreement, Immunic has the exclusive rights to commercialization of IMU-856 in all countries, including the United States, Europe and Japan. The option also includes exclusivity on a patent application filed by Daiichi Sankyo, covering IMU-856’s composition of matter. Immunic exercised the option in January 2020.