News - 25 Nov `19Temprian Therapeutics In-licenced HSP70i for Vitiligo

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At the Drug Development Summit in Boston, MA, a biotech startup Temprian Therapeutics announced a key in-license deal from Northwestern University. 

The pending patent forms the backbone for TT-01, a DNA-based drug under development by Temprian Therapeutics. This drug candidate uses the modified heat shock protein -- HSP70i -- developed by Prof. Caroline Le Poole at Northwestern and Loyola Universities. Heat shock protein is a type of proteins, which are produced by cells during stressful situations, to cope with insulting factors and to mediate organism's responce. For example, previous studies have reported that overexpression of HSP70 can delay the progression of Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease.

In theory, HSP70i mediates depigmentation process driven by the normal defensive immune mechanicsm known as "killer" T-cells. Rouge T-cells mistakenly identify healthy melanocytes as intruders and kill them. HSP70i may be regarded as a target candidate for stopping rouge T-cells and thereby reversing an autoimmune process.  However, it is unknown whether selective inactivation of T-cells and dampening autoimmune responses will have consequences for other, healthy immune responses. 

If successful, this drug would be an effective tool kit to stop vitiligo progression, to stimulate the repigmentation, and to prevent relapse. Four needleless DNA plasmid injections are supposed to cause a repigmentation across the entire body, even at distant lesions. "The treatment effect might be temporary, yet long-lasting," says Dr. Kettil Cedrcreutz, CEO Temprian Therapeutics. 

Earlier this year the company completed a Pre-Investigational New Drug (Pre-IND) meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and raised $325,000 of seed financing, according to Dr. Cedercreutz. "We are planning to start clinical trials in 2021. Upon attaining FDA approval TT-01 would secure market exclusivity for twelve years as a new biologic."

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