It has taken Nimbus Discovery LLC just three years from its founding to identify lead inhibitors against the historically intractable target IRAK4 to treat autoimmune disease and cancer. This month the company presented preclinical data showing that combining IRAK4 and Btk inhibitors had a synergistic effect in mutation-defined subtypes of two B cell lymphomas.

IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) plays a role in innate immune signaling and has been implicated in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis and gout. In 2011, a team at the National Cancer Institute showed for the first time that IRAK4 inhibitors had potential in B cell lymphomas (see SciBX: Science-Business eXchange, Jan. 13, 2011).