BSSL – a novel target for treatment of autoimmune inflammatory diseases
Lipum has identified a unique target for treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. It is a protein denoted bile salt-stimulated lipase (BSSL). It was concluded that BSSL acts by promoting recruitment of inflammatory and immune cells to the site of acute inflammation, which in the normal case helps to control the inflammation.
However, when an inflammation becomes “chronic” the effect of BSSL instead contributes to sustaining the inflammation. This makes BSSL a novel, and so far overlooked, target for treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Our therapeutic approach is to develop an antibody that blocks the function of BSSL – thereby inhibiting the inflammatory process.
The efficacy has been demonstrated in several different animal inflammation models. Both animals devoid of BSSL (knock out mice) and animals treated with an antibody directed towards BSSL are effectively protected from disease development and progression.
A biological drug
The active ingredient will be a new biological drug, a unique monoclonal antibody targeting the BSSL molecule and inhibiting its action. The fact that it is an antibody, as are the TNFα inhibitors, will be an advantage when it comes to clinical implementation.
Lipum has developed a strong pre-candidate drug which consist of a monoclonal mouse anti-human antibody. Ongoing work, in collaboration with the highly renowned SciLifeLab in Sweden, is being conducted in order to have this substance humanized.
Once a human BSSL-antibody has been established – we will proceed with standard safety and toxicology tests. The final drug will most likely be developed together with additional external partners.
Lipum has collected original research data proving the efficacy of the compound in several established arthritis models. The BSSL antibodies effectively block human inflammatory cell migration. We are currently developing a humanized monoclonal antibody that target BSSL and our candidate drug will then be subject for toxicological tests and clinical trials.
Orphan drug designation
Lipum’s proposed treatment and developed drug candidate can qualify for an orthan drug designation. Lipum is evaluating the possibility to address Juvenile Iodiopathic Arthritis (JIA) as the first indication for the product.