German SciRhom GmbH and New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have collaborated on proof-of-concept studies leading to the announcement of the first-in-class antibodies against iRhom2, a key modulator of several major pro-inflammatory signaling pathways such as TNF-alpha signaling reports Biospectrum Asia. SciRhom is now positioned to pursue the development of monoclonal antibodies against iRhom2 for to treat major autoimmune diseases.
What is iRhom2?
iRhom2 is a protein that controls the tumor necrosis factor-alpha-convertase (TACE aka ADAM17), a set of molecular scissors that triggers several critical signaling pathways, such as TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and other disease-related signaling.
Advantages of Antibodies against iRhom2
Blocking TACE could trigger significant side effects as TACE-deficient patients reveal severe skin and intestinal defects. However, antibodies against iRhom2 represents a unique advantage over TACE-targeted therapies of simultaneously blocking several TACE-dependent disease-associated pro-inflammatory pathways without causing lesions in the skin and intestinal barrier. Also antibodies against iRhom2 should be superior to anti-TNF-alpha biologics due to their ability to interfere with other important pro-inflammatory pathways. This concept has been validated using iRhom2 knockout mice, which are normal and healthy but are protected from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and glomerulonephritis caused by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
The Hospital for Special Surgery POC
Professor Dr. Carl Blobel, co-founder of SciRhom and pioneer of the TACE/ADAM17 field and his colleague, Dr. Jane Salmon with Hospital for Special Surgery conducted the proof-of-concept studies. Professor Blobel is Program Director of the Arthritis and Tissue Degeneration Program at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York, USA, one of the world’s top-ranking academic medical centers in Rheumatology and musculoskeletal health.
Headed toward IND Submissions
SciRhom has identified iRhom2-speciifc antibodies that block TNF-alpha release by TACE and is currently advancing the preclinical development of its first-in-class anti-iRhom2 antibodies toward IND-enabling studies.
Who is SciRhom?
Founded by an experienced management team, SciRhom has secured approximately EUR 7 million in seed funding from High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF), Hospital for Special Surgery and private investors.