VBL Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company, has announced that its drug candidate, VB-201, was found effective in attenuating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in preclinical models.
VB-201 is a first-in-class, orally available, specific innate immunity disease-modifying medicine in development for the treatment of chronic immune-inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and IBD.
In the preclinical study, the efficacy of VB-201 was evaluated in three mouse models of IBD: trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis, T cell-induced colitis and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis.
Data from the study showed that treatment with VB-201 alleviated wasting disease and restrained gastrointestinal inflammation, with efficacy in all the three disease models.
VB-201 acts in a targeted, localised way to modulate the immune system, potentially resulting in better patient outcomes with fewer side effects.
VBL research vice president Eyal Breitbart said the preclinical study findings showed that VB-201 possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can effectively reduce the severity of IBD in multiple experimental mouse models.
"The data are extremely promising and add to the recent positive results from a Phase 2 sub-study of VB-201 in psoriasis patients with atherosclerosis. We look forward to advancing VB-201 into human clinical trials for IBD," Breitbart added.
Five previous Phase 1 clinical trials involving 140 healthy subjects have demonstrated that VB-201 is well tolerated with a favourable safety profile. In a Phase 2 study, the drug was found to reduce vascular inflammation associated with atherosclerotic lesions as measured by PET-CT imaging.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic relapsing inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that affects millions of people worldwide.
VBL Therapeutics is focused on the development of potential treatments for immune-inflammatory diseases and cancer.
Image: Micrograph showing inflammation of the large bowel in a case of inflammatory bowel disease. Photo courtesy of: Nephron.