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Synairgen eyes lung fibrosis trial after positive data from LOXL2 inhibitor program

PBR Staff Writer Published 13 March 2017

Synairgen is on track to begin the initial clinical trial of a new lung fibrosis treatment later this year after pre-clinical work showed more evidence of improved breathing.

Synairgen is collaboraing with Australian firm Pharmaxis on the program which will target scar tissue that inhibits breathing in sufferers of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a lethal lung condition.

If toxicology studies are successful, the company plans to start phase 1 clinical trails in the second half of this year.

Synairgen CEO Richard Marsden said: “2017 will be an important year for Synairgen. Subject to the successful completion of on-going pre-clinical work, we expect to commence Phase I clinical trials of the LOXL2 inhibitor during the second half of 2017.

“The window for licensing the LOXL2 programme to a pharmaceutical partner will open at the end of Phase I. We also expect to hear the outcome of the AstraZeneca Phase II trial of interferon beta during the first half of 2017.”

In previous studies which used cells from IPF patients, Synairgen found that the LOXL2 inhibitors can decrease cross-linking among collagen fibres. The pharma says that it has now shown that the reduction in cross-linking of the fibres can alleviate tissue stiffness by 50%.

Further, Synairgen has claimed that by subjecting one of the inhibiting compounds orally, cross-link formation was considerably inhibited.

Besides in a preclinical model of lung fibrosis, it was shown that the inhibitors had brought down the fibrosis score and enhanced lung function.

The company said that the results hint that its novel inhibitors can potentially improve lung function by reducing tissue stiffness in lung fibrosis patients.

IPF is caused by scar tissue build-up which in turn damages the lung structure and makes it difficult for the entry of oxygen into the blood. LOXL2 has been noted as the enzyme which stiffens scar tissue by creating cross-links between the collagen molecules.

Image: Synairgen’s LOXL2 inhibitor programme reported positive data. Photo: courtesy of jk1991/