Blade Therapeutics has commenced a Phase l clinical trial to investigate the safety and pharmacokinetics (PK) of BLD-2660 for the treatment of fibrosis.

Fibrosis is the development of additional fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue in a reparative or reactive process.

As part of the first-in-human, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation Phase l trial, BLD-2660 will be orally administered to healthy subjects.

The trial is being conducted in Australia and expected to provide initial results by the last quarter of this year.

Blade Therapeutics CEO Wendye Robbins said: “BLD-2660 has shown remarkable anti-fibrotic properties in multiple preclinical disease models.

“BLD-2660 has shown remarkable anti-fibrotic properties in multiple preclinical disease models.”

“We believe it will be an effective treatment option with a favourable safety profile for patients suffering from debilitating fibrotic diseases. By initiating the clinical trial in Australia, we are able to expedite our development timelines, work with top clinicians, and take advantage of favourable government rebates.

“We plan to file a US Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with human safety and PK data by the end of the year, which we anticipate will allow us to move BLD-2660 into human proof-of-concept studies in 2019.”

BLD-2660 is an optimised small molecule inhibitor of dimeric calpains, which are non-lysosomal calcium-dependent proteases.

In a number of previous biochemical studies, BLD-2660 demonstrated potent and selective inhibition of calpains 1, 2, and 9.

Developed using insights from the US’ Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to discover new therapies that can broadly modulate fibrosis, and thereby contribute to the treatment of diverse diseases, BLD-2660 has also showed its effectiveness in various animal models of pulmonary, skin, and liver fibrosis.