inflammatory bowel diseaseVBL 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.

"Treatment with VB-201 alleviated wasting disease and restrained gastrointestinal inflammation."

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.