4:06 PM
 | 
May 14, 2018
 |  BC Extra  |  Company News

U of Birmingham spins out RA newco

University of Birmingham (Birmingham, U.K.) spun out newco Viatem Ltd. to develop rheumatoid arthritis therapies based on a peptide that plays a role in the recruitment of immune cells to inflamed tissues.

The newco will discover and develop compounds around the peptide inhibitor of trans-endothelial migration (PEPITEM), a key regulator of the adiponectin (ADIPOQ) pathway that modulates T cell migration from blood into tissues. A research group led by University of Birmingham Professor of Chronic Inflammation Ed Rainger discovered the ADIPOQ pathway and found that patients with RA had reduced serum PEPITEM levels compared with healthy controls. The group published the findings in Nature Medicine in 2015.

Viatem has a license from the university the technology.

Also on Monday, University of Birmingham Enterprise presented data showing that synthetic PEPITEM inhibited disease onset and reduced disease severity in two mouse models of collagen-induced arthritis and also improved regulation of T cell recruitment in ex vivo human peripheral lymphocytes taken from newly presenting RA patients. Data were presented at the Latin-American Association of Immunology meeting in Cancun.

Additional data will be presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) meeting in Amsterdam in June.

Viatem has funding from Innovate UK, the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network and the university's Enterprising Birmingham Fund.

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