GEn1E Lifesciences Adds NextGen Selective Immunomodulator Target to Portfolio, Broadens Pipeline
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
GEn1E plans to use the novel discovery, which is licensed from University of Maryland, Baltimore, to develop therapies for pulmonary, oncology and muscle degenerative diseases
BALTIMORE and PALO ALTO, Calif., July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- GEn1E Lifesciences, a next-generation multitarget techbio company developing novel and targeted immunomodulators, has secured an exclusive, worldwide, all-fields license from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) for patented next-generation Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) immunomodulators. The Company plans to use the newly licensed compounds to advance its portfolio of novel immunomodulators for rare and inflammatory diseases for patients with unmet needs in the areas of pulmonary, oncology and muscle degenerative diseases.
ERK1/2 is part of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family, an essential signaling pathway that plays a key role in several basic cellular processes, including proliferation and differentiation. Given the ubiquity of the ERK cascade in cellular processes, it shares the pathogenesis of several pulmonary, oncology, and muscle degeneration diseases. ERK1/2's multiple mechanisms-of-action make it an ideal platform candidate.
"Our ERK1/2 research has unlocked new approaches to selectively inhibit enzyme functions involved in disease, which is different from the current ERK1/2 inhibitors that block all enzyme functions and often result in unwanted toxicities and side effects," said Paul Shapiro, PhD, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and inventor of the technology. "Our discovery of compounds that target unique substrate binding pockets provides an opportunity to develop novel function-selective kinase therapies that will treat the disease and cause fewer side effects."
The new license builds on the strong working relationship between GEn1E and UMB. In 2019, GEn1E licensed a technology from UMB for developing next-generation p38 immunomodulators. That agreement is bearing fruit today with a lead compound in the clinic and several more novel compounds being accelerated in the pipeline.
"With the addition of ERK1/2 as a new target, the scope of diseases for which we can point our powerful AI-based 'Platform in a Mechanism' model expands greatly," said Ritu Lal, PhD, CEO of GEn1E. "The University of Maryland, Baltimore has produced stellar technologies that have the potential to create long-lasting impacts for patients, many of whom are devastated without effective therapies. A proud UMB alum myself, I am thrilled to continue growing a close working relationship with the University."
The power of GEn1E's platform is evident in the progress the Company has made since graduating from Y Combinator in late 2019. The Company's lead compound is in clinical stage and GEn1E scientists have developed more than 21 novel next-generation immunomodulators—all using only seed funding. GEn1E has demonstrated an unprecedentedly fast pace and efficiency in drug development using it's AI platform.
"We are delighted to license additional assets to GEn1E Lifesciences and continue to develop our strong working relationship," said Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, associate vice president of technology transfer at UMB and director of UM Ventures. "GEn1E's application of machine learning to accelerate the process of drug development is very exciting and we are thrilled to see the unmet needs of novel and next-generation therapies being fulfilled."
The University of Maryland, Baltimore is commercializing breakthrough therapies, diagnostics and devices, fueling the creation of innovative start-up companies, and attracting industry leaders and entrepreneurs to its thriving campus. Founded in 1807 as the first public medical school in the nation, the University is a fast-growing biomedical research center with nationally ranked professional schools of dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, an interdisciplinary graduate school as well as a 14 acre bio-medical research park.
GEn1E Lifesciences is a clinical-stage, techbio company accelerating novel, next-generation immunomodulatory therapies for rare and inflammatory diseases. GEn1E has created a differentiated "platform in a mechanism" model that uses machine learning across the entire end-to-end drug development cycle. The company has validated its platform through several significant milestones including a portfolio of 21+ novel immunomodulators and a clinical-stage purpose-built therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a devastating respiratory condition with no approved therapeutic treatments and a ~40% mortality rate.
Published on PR Newswire.