ChemoCentryx is a biopharmaceutical company focused exclusively on discovering, developing and commercializing orally-administered therapeutics to treat autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders and cancer.
Our approach has been to target the chemokine system, a network of molecules including chemokine ligands and their associated receptors, as well as related chemo-attractant receptors, all of which are known to drive inflammation. Chemokine ligands concentrate at the site of an inflammatory event, serving as signals that attract and guide inflammatory cells to the tissue, where, based on the chemokine ligand and receptor combination, a specific inflammatory response is initiated. In certain diseases, discrete chemokine receptors that play a specific role in the pathology of interest have been identified, and the therapeutic goal is to specifically inhibit that receptor to provide clinical benefit. Accordingly, each of our drug candidates is a small molecule designed to target a specific chemokine or chemo-attractant receptor, thereby blocking the inflammatory response driven by that particular chemokine while leaving the rest of the immune system unaffected.
The ChemoCentryx approach is designed to discover, develop and commercialize therapeutics that we believe provide distinct advantages over currently marketed therapies in our disease areas of focus. These advantages include:
- Improved safety profile.
Our drug candidates are designed to be highly selective to minimize the risk of off-target effects. Unlike several current therapies, which broadly suppress the body's immune system, we believe that our drug candidates, by selectively blocking a given chemokine-chemokine receptor combination, and leaving other chemokine-chemokine receptor interactions unaffected, can potentially bring even aggressive forms of chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases under control in a safe, effective manner.
- Convenient dosing and improved patient compliance.
Our current drug candidates are designed to be administered orally, providing what we believe to be an important improvement in patient convenience and the potential for improved patient compliance as compared to existing intravenous and subcutaneous treatments with biologics.
- Lower production costs.
Unlike biologic agents, which require complex and expensive cell based systems to produce a given biologic agent, our drug candidates are typically cheaper to manufacture given that small molecules can be synthesized using standard chemistry processes.
ChemoCentryx has six drug candidates in clinical development. All six drug candidates are wholly owned and are being developed independently by us. All of our drug candidates have been internally discovered.
Our lead independent drug candidate, CCX140, which targets the chemokine receptor CCR2, successfully completed a Phase II clinical trial in type 2 diabetics and is currently in two Phase II clinical trials in patients with diabetic nephropathy, a form of kidney disease. The CCR2 receptor is believed to be of central importance to certain inflammatory diseases, such as diabetic nephropathy and Type 2 diabetes. Our independent next generation CCR2 drug candidate for the treatment of expanded indications of renal disease, CCX872, is currently in a Phase I clinical trial.
Vercirnon (also known as Traficet-EN or CCX282) targets the chemokine receptor known as CCR9. Vercirnon is our Phase III-ready drug candidate for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease. We completed a Phase II clinical trial of vercirnon for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease, called PROTECT-1. This study was designed to evaluate vercirnon for the induction of clinical response or remission in patients with Crohn's disease as well as to evaluate the utility of vercirnon as maintenance therapy. CCX507, our de novo wholly-owned next generation CCR9 inhibitor for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease is expected to complete Phase I clinical development in the first half of 2014.
CCX354, which targets the chemokine receptor CCR1, successfully completed a Phase II proof-of-concept clinical trial for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, or RA. CCX354 is a potent and selective antagonist of CCR1, a chemokine receptor that drives the recruitment of certain inflammatory cells including populations of monocytes, macrophages and T cells into the joints of patients with RA. By selectively blocking the CCR1 receptor, CCX354 is designed to reduce the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the joints of RA patients, thus inhibiting the inflammation, swelling, pain and associated joint destruction while minimizing the potential for off-target effects. RA is estimated to affect more than two million people in the U.S. and is a leading cause of morbidity, disability and reduced work ability. The exact cause of RA is unknown, but is believed to reflect the body's immune system attack on the synovium, the tissue that lines the joints. Despite available treatments, there remains a significant unmet medical need for better therapies for RA.
CCX168, a complement 5a receptor antagonist, is currently in a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody, or ANCA-associated vasculitis, or AAV. ANCA-associated vasculitis is a specific type of auto-immune inflammation that causes leaking of blood and protein into the urine, and can lead to kidney failure, if left untreated. The morbidity and mortality remains high, with many patients suffering severe adverse effects of treatment. Current therapy causes severe adverse events in 25% of patients in the first year, irreversible damage in over 50% and is the major cause of death in the first 5 years. There is a need for safer, more effective therapy. An estimated 10 to 20 per 1 million people are affected by AAV annually in the U.S. ANCA-associated vasculitis is observed in patients clinically diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (previously called Wegener's granulomatosis), microscopic polyangiitis or renal limited vasculitis.
We are also advancing several additional independent drug candidates through preclinical development, the most advanced of which target chemokine receptors involved in atopic dermatitis, liver inflammation, psoriasis, RA and cancer. Programs in preclinical development include:
- Anti-inflammatory compounds that target CCR4, a chemokine receptor we believe to be associated with atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and asthma;
- Anti-inflammatory compounds that target CCR6, a chemokine receptor we believe to be associated with psoriasis and RA;
- Anticancer compounds that target CXCR7, a chemokine receptor we believe to be associated with tumor growth; and
- Additional compounds under evaluation targeting a chemokine receptor for indications in liver disease.
ChemoCentryx has developed a suite of proprietary technologies, called the EnabaLink® drug discovery engine, to better understand the chemokine system and to accelerate the identification of small molecule lead compounds that target and inhibit the function of specific chemokine receptors. ChemoCentryx has leveraged the EnabaLink drug discovery engine in our drug candidate programs and continue to apply these powerful research tools in our early stage drug discovery efforts.
We believe that our broad pipeline of oral drug candidates, our ability to advance unique, highly specific compounds into and through clinical development across diverse indications and our proprietary drug discovery technologies provide us with distinct advantages that will enable us to exploit the extensive pharmacologic potential of the chemokine system.
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