Our drug candidate vercirnon (also known as Traficet-EN or CCX282), which targets the chemokine receptor known as CCR9, is a Phase III-ready drug candidate for the potential treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and one of two forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
While there are no ongoing vercirnon clinical trials at this time, we believe that additional clinical development of vercirnon may demonstrate its ability to be an effective treatment with fewer side effects than currently available immunosuppressive therapies for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two diseases – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – both characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation in any part of the digestive tract but often affects the tail end of the small intestine.
Vercirnon is intended to control the inflammatory response underlying inflammatory bowel disease by targeting the chemokine receptor known as CCR9. In adults, CCR9 is found primarily on a population of T cells, a subset of the body’s inflammatory cells, that migrate selectively to the digestive tract. It is believed that when CCR9’s ligand, CCL25 (also known as TECK), is over-expressed, the migration of T cells to the small and large intestine causes persistent inflammation that may result in Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the two forms of IBD.
CCR9 Antagonists in the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis. Bekker P, Ebsworth K, Walters MJ, Berahovich RD, Ertl LS, Charvat TT, Punna S, Powers JP, Campbell JJ, Sullivan TJ, Jaen JC, and Schall TJ. Mediators of Inflammation, Volume 2015, Article ID 628340.
A randomized controlled trial of the efficacy and safety of CCX282-B, an orally-administered blocker of chemokine receptor CCR9, for patients with Crohn’s disease. Keshav S, Vaňásek T, Niv Y, Petryka R, Howaldt S, Bafutto M, Rácz I, Hetzel D, Nielsen OH, Vermeire S, Reinisch W, Karlén P, Schreiber S, Schall TJ, Bekker P; Prospective Randomized Oral-Therapy Evaluation in Crohn’s Disease Trial-1 (PROTECT-1) Study Group. PLoS One, 2013; 8(3):e60094.
Characterization of CCX282-B, an orally bioavailable antagonist of the CCR9 chemokine receptor, for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Walters MJ, Wang Y, Lai N, Baumgart T, Zhao BN, Dairaghi DJ, Bekker P, Ertl LS, Penfold ME, Jaen JC, Keshav S, Wendt E, Pennell A, Ungashe S, Wei Z, Wright JJ, Schall TJ. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010; 335(1):61-9.
GSK-1605786, a selective small-molecule antagonist of the CCR9 chemokine receptor for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Eksteen B, Adams DH. IDrugs. 2010;13(7):472-81.
Chemokines as novel therapeutic targets for inflammatory bowel disease. Nishimura M, Kuboi Y, Muramoto K, Kawano T, Imai T. Annals New York Acad. Sciences 2009; 1173(Contemporary Challenges in Autoimmunity):350-356.
CCR9 Inhibitors for the Treatment of IBD. Walters MJ; Ebsworth K; Sullivan TS; Wang Y; Dairaghi D; Ma G; Jaen JC; Schall TJ. United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW 2012), Amsterdam (NL) October 20-24, 2012. Abstract # P0871.
CCR9 inhibition in the treatment of colonic inflammation. Jaen JC, Walters MJ, Berahovich R, Ertl L, Ebsworth K, Schall TJ; United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW 2010), Barcelona (Spain) October 23-27, 2010. Abstract # OP459 (selected for oral presentation)