ARTICLE | Emerging Company Profile

Altair: Breathing easier with antisense

February 8, 2010 8:00 AM UTC

Several compounds in development to treat asthma have been designed to modify the underlying disease by inhibiting or disrupting the inflammatory activity of the cytokines IL-4 and IL-13. So far, compounds targeting one or the other have been unsuccessful. But Altair Therapeutics Inc. thinks it can shut down the inflammatory pathway by targeting a subunit that is shared by the receptors for both cytokines.

The biotech, which was spun out of Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., also believes its lead antisense compound will allow for better dosing than other inhibitors of the same target. AIR645, an antisense molecule targeting the IL-4 receptor subunit alpha mRNA, is in Phase IIa testing, with data expected in 3Q10...