Research and development grounded in Nobel Prize-winning science
The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2011 highlighted Ralph Steinman, Jules Hoffmann and Bruce Beutler’s research on Toll-like receptors (TLR), proteins that play a key role in the innate immune system. Since then, over 50,000 articles related to TLRs and their role in the immune system have been published. Synthetic TLR agonists – compounds that activate the receptors to produce a response – are currently being tested in clinical trials to evaluate their therapeutic potential in immunological diseases where the immune responses are imbalanced.
Available therapies for these debilitating diseases may not be effective enough and can be associated with serious side effects. We therefore see a significant unmet medical need for new treatments.
Toll-like receptors lie at the core of InDex Pharmaceutical’s research and clinical development programs. InDex has developed a proprietary technology platform called DNA-based ImmunoModulatory Sequences (DIMS) that has led to the design of over 150 TLR9 agonists. DIMS mimics bacterial DNA without being harmful and stimulates the immune cells to produce beneficial cytokines. With its immunomodulatory effects, meaning they help modify the body’s immune response, candidates in the DIMS platform have the potential to be used as treatment for a variety of immunological diseases.
InDex Pharmaceuticals’ lead product candidate from the DIMS platform is cobitolimod, which is in late stage clinical development for the treatment of moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, a debilitating disease caused by inflammation of the large intestine. Read more about cobitolimod here.
In addition to cobitolimod, InDex is testing a selected number of DIMS candidates, such as IDX9054 and IDX9059, in preclinical models of other immunological diseases. Positive signals have been observed, and InDex is now investigating how to confirm these early results using alternative and complementary methods, with the goal of selecting a DIMS substance for further development.