Redx Pharma and Medicines Discovery Catapult awarded grant for biomarker project which aims to accelerate therapeutic development for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Medicines Discovery Catapult

Strategic collaboration will enable preclinical assessment and inform clinical development strategy for Redx’s Porcupine (RXC006) and ROCK2 inhibitors for fibrotic diseases with high unmet medical need

Today (19 November 2019) Redx Pharma plc (AIM: REDX) announces that Innovate UK has awarded Biomedical Catalyst funding to Redx and Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC). The grant will fund the development and validation of a panel of translational biomarkers to assess novel therapeutics in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a life-threatening fibrotic lung condition.

The collaboration combines Redx’s expertise in the development of novel small molecule precision medicines, including the Company’s Porcupine (RXC006) and Rho-associated protein kinase 2 (ROCK2) inhibitors, together with MDC’s expertise in biomarker strategies. The collaboration is expected to enable the progression of anti-fibrotic therapies in an area of high unmet medical need

Development of new therapies for the treatment of fibrotic diseases is hampered by the lack of translation between animal models and human disease. In addition, robust biomarker strategies that can be used to stratify patients, predict treatment efficacy and show a meaningful anti-fibrotic response early in clinical development do not exist at present. Therefore, new biomarkers validated and developed through the project are expected to greatly assist the development of new therapies for IPF and improve the likelihood of clinical success.

The project, funded by Innovate UK, aims to set up and validate a comprehensive group of fibrotic disease-associated genes and proteins with potential to further develop into a sensitive biomarker panel for clinical use. A multimodal approach will be undertaken by MDC to investigate novel biomarker signatures to characterise disease and treatment response. These biomarkers can be used to evaluate Redx’s Porcupine (RXC006) and ROCK2 small molecule inhibitors in preclinical fibrosis models and ultimately support future clinical development strategies for these programmes, which aim to enter the clinic by 2021. The total grant awarded to fund this project is £515,595.

Dr Richard Armer, Chief Scientific Officer, Redx Pharma plc commented:

“We are excited to enter into this unique collaboration with Medicines Discovery Catapult and would like to thank Innovate UK for the validation of our teams’ scientific capabilities with the Biomedical Catalyst funding award. This will accelerate preclinical assessment and ensure a robust clinical development plan is in place for our Porcupine and ROCK2 inhibitors for fibrosis.”

Dr Peter Simpson, Chief Scientific Officer, Medicines Discovery Catapult commented:

“This partnership with Redx will allow the development of a robust portfolio of biomarkers for IPF and the progression of anti-fibrotic therapies in a faster and better-informed way. This exciting collaboration will enable us to better address an important and unmet clinical need.”