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Biotechs explore the next generation of inflammasome targets, with caution

As interest in NLRP3 grows, biotechs are looking to the next crop of inflammasome targets

As the NLRP3 field gains momentum, drawing VC and pharma interest for the role the target plays in diseases ranging from NASH to neurodegeneration, biotechs are beginning to eye the next crop of inflammasome targets.

At least two companies -- IFM Therapeutics LLC and ZyVersa Therapeutics Inc. -- are diving in with preclinical programs against novel inflammasome targets, while others are waiting to see the first clinical data from NLRP3 programs before committing to their choice of target.

Inflammasome complexes have come to the fore as attractive targets because they sit upstream of cytokines, meaning interfering with them can cut off inflammation at the source. Because there are several types of inflammasomes that are dysregulated in different diseases, their modulation could lead to fewer side effects than general immunosuppressants.

Each type of inflammasome complex is made up of a distinct sensor molecule, which detects pathogenic molecules, and the conserved adaptor molecule ASC which work together to activate caspase-1 and trigger inflammatory signaling cascades.

NLRP3 was the first inflammasome sensor discovered and has the largest body of preclinical research behind

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