12:00 AM
 | 
Nov 07, 2005
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Reviving oral tolerance

Autoimmune startup Androclus Therapeutics aims to rekindle interest in oral tolerance therapies with its AT-001 dnaJP1 peptide against proinflammatory proteins in rheumatoid arthritis. Although AT-001 missed its target using an unconventional primary endpoint in a Phase II trial, Androclus says the data show the compound is active against the disease, with a benign safety profile.

A number of companies, most notably AutoImmune Inc., have tried to induce tolerance via oral therapies and failed. According to Androclus co-founder and Chairman Salvo Albani, AT-001 is different from these prior compounds because it is focused on a specific target selected based on a mechanistic understanding of the disease.

Autoimmune (AIMM, Pasadena, Calif.) ended operations not long after its Colloral chicken collagen for RA failed in Phase II (see BioCentury, May 19, 1997). Collagen is a constituent protein found in multiple tissues affected by RA, but it is not directly implicated in the etiology of inflammation.

In contrast, AT-001, which is derived from the bacterial heat shock protein dnaJ, is...

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