UChicago Grants InFlectis BioScience Exclusive Rights to a Potential New Class of Therapies for Neuromuscular Diseases
The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has granted InFlectis BioScience rights to use a patented family of small molecules for the treatment of neuromuscular diseases.
Per the agreement announced today, France-based InFlectis BioScience gains exclusive rights to US Patent No. 10,905,663 in exchange for equity, an upfront payment, milestone payments, and royalties on net sales.
The patent is based on the work of a team led by former University of Chicago researcher Brian Popko, PhD, who is currently a professor of neurology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
The license covers the use of InFlectis BioSciences’ two lead compounds: IFB-088 (Sephin1) and IFB-048. The compounds are ISR (integrated stress response) modulators, which have demonstrated the ability to prolong the body’s natural protective effect against cellular stress. This could potentially delay or halt disease progression.
“During his time at the University of Chicago, Dr. Popko discovered that the patented family of molecules could be useful for the treatment of demyelinating disorders,” said Thelma Tennant, PhD, director of business development and licensing at the Polsky Center. “We are delighted that this work will be brought to patients through our partnership with InFlectis BioScience, who will be advancing their compounds to treat individuals with neuromuscular diseases.”
Demyelinating disorders are any conditions that damage the protective layer around nerves called myelin, which enables electrical impulses to quickly and accurately flow along a nerve. When myelin is damaged the body’s nerve impulses slow down or stop completely.
IFB-088 (Sephin1) is entering Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) and has shown encouraging preclinical results for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
“The preclinical data that we have generated using MS mouse models has demonstrated the exciting potential of enhancing the ISR as a therapeutic strategy for MS,” explained Popko. “Our studies suggest that small molecules like IFB-088 that enhance the ISR should provide protection to oligodendrocytes against the harsh environment created by the CNS inflammation that occurs in MS patients. This protection will shield myelin and axons from degeneration and permit remyelination to occur more efficiently.”
InFlectis BioScience’s agreement with the University of Chicago bolsters the company’s global intellectual property related to its family of ISR modulators, noted Pierre Miniou, PhD, founder and chief operating Officer of InFlectis BioScience. “Consequently,” he added, “we strengthened our ability to attract the necessary financial resources and partnerships to advance our compounds through clinical development and increase the likelihood of providing new treatment options for patients.”