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Development of a Novel, Targeted Small Molecule Inhibitor of the Nucleoside Salvage Pathway to Treat Crohn's disease

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41DK138578-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41DK138578
Amount: $395,119.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 300
Solicitation Number: PA22-178
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-09-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-08-31
Small Business Information
13451 RAND DR
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
United States
DUNS: 059992210
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (323) 518-6901
Business Contact
Phone: (323) 518-6901
Research Institution
LOS ANGELES, CA 90095-2000
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic autoimmune disease in which cells of the immune system attack gut tissue
leading to diarrhea, fatigue, pain, and weight loss. CD affects up to one million Americans and is a type of
inflammatory bowel disease. CD is driven by CD4 T cells with a significant role for TH1 and TH17 cells and
additional involvement of B cells. Current therapies for CD can be effective but suffer from high rates of primary
and secondary failure and are associated with significant and sometimes severe side effects. New safe and
effective therapies are needed to treat CD. The deoxyribonucleoside salvage pathway with rate-limiting enzyme
deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) salvages extracellular deoxyribonucleosides for intracellular deoxyribonucleotide
metabolism. dCK activity can be measured non-invasively in vivo in mice and humans using the PET radiotracers
[18F]FAC and [18F]CFA, respectively. dCK activity is upregulated in lymphocytes in multiple preclinical models of
autoimmune diseases including autoimmune hepatitis and multiple sclerosis (MS). One study showed that dCK
activity is upregulated in the spleen in a mouse colitis model at the one time-point analyzed. Trethera has recently
developed TRE-515 as a potent and selective small molecule dCK inhibitor with excellent in vivo pharmacokinetic
and pharmacodynamic properties. TRE-515 was recently cleared by the FDA (IND# 131939) for investigational
use in the treatment of solid tumors and has been safely administered to multiple patients in Phase I clinical
trials. We recently showed in multiple experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse models of MS
that dCK activity is upregulated in lymphocytes during disease, that TRE-515 can limit dCK activity in lymphoid
tissues in vivo, that TRE-515 can block clinical MS symptoms in these EAE mouse models when treatments are
initiated at disease induction or at symptoms onset, that TRE-515 limits disease in these models by blocking
activation-induced T and B cell proliferation without affecting other cells in the immune system, and that TRE-
515 directly blocks T cell proliferation in culture. MS and CD are different diseases but share activated and
proliferating TH1 and TH17 CD4 T cells as a common driver of disease. We hypothesize that TRE-515 could be
an effective treatment for CD. We will begin to test this hypothesis in this Phase I STTR grant through the
following two aims. Aim 1: To quantify dCK activity in the lymphoid organs and gut throughout disease in the
adoptive transfer and SAMP1/YitFc CD models. Aim 2: To test whether the dCK inhibitor TRE-515 blocks disease
progression in a preclinical CD model.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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