Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDRA) today announced results from preclinical studies evaluating the mechanism of action of IMO-8400, a selective inhibitor of Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) 7, 8, and 9. The data were presented on Wednesday, June 20, during the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FoCIS) meeting being held June 20-23, 2012, in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
In this study, the mechanism of action of IMO-8400 has been studied in non-human primates. The administration of IMO-8400 led to inhibition of immune responses mediated through targeted Toll-like receptors. Multiple cytokines were suppressed, including TNF-α, IL-12, IL-6, IFN-α, IL-1β. Similar results of IMO-8400 suppression of TLR7, 8 and 9-mediated immune responses were observed in human blood cells. IMO-8400 is a lead candidate in development for the treatment of lupus.
"These studies confirm that in a preclinical primate model and in human blood cells treatment with IMO-8400 specifically blocked cytokine induction mediated through targeted TLRs," said Tim Sullivan, VP of Development Programs and Alliance Management. "The selective inhibition of these TLRs is consistent with the preclinical efficacy we have seen in commonly used mouse models of lupus and holds promise for potential use of IMO-8400 in humans with lupus and other autoimmune diseases. The activity demonstrated with IMO-8400 in various models forms the basis for the Investigational New Drug Application we anticipate submitting to the FDA in the fourth quarter of this year."
About TLRs and Idera's PipelineToll-like Receptors (TLRs) represent a class of proteins that play a key role in both inflammation and immunity. Of the 10 human TLRs identified to date, Idera is focusing on compounds targeted to TLRs 3, 7, 8, and 9, which are expressed in different cells and serve unique functions. For example, activation of TLR7 and TLR9 present in certain dendritic cells and lymphocytes may be useful for the treatment of various types of cancer by stimulating immunity. In contrast, inhibition of specific TLRs may be useful in treating autoimmune disorders, such as psoriasis and lupus, by blocking the production of multiple pro-inflammatory mediators. Using its chemistry-based approach, Idera has developed novel drug candidates which modulate immune response through activation or inhibition of specific TLRs to treat a broad range of diseases, including autoimmune diseases and cancer, and to enhance the effectiveness of vaccines.