Galecto Biotech AB, a biotechnology company developing novel drugs to treat fibrotic conditions, inflammation, and other serious and rare human diseases, is currently conducting clinical trials for their novel formulation TD139. The experimental therapy is formulated for inhalation and is targeted at treating fibrotic conditions of the lungs, mostly in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
History of TD139
Galecto Biotech has focused on galectins (a family of proteins which bind to β-galactoside sugars), which are actively involved in disease mechanisms. Galectins are a novel target for drug formulation and increase the scope for treatment options for “orphan” diseases.
Galectin-3 is a member of the galactoside binding lectins, either intra- or extracellularly, initiating inflammatory and fibrotic activity. The activation of macrophages and recruitment and activation of myofibroblasts, two key phenomena in fibrosis, are both dependent on galectin-3. Preclinical studies involving knockout of galectin-3 expression have shown considerable reduction in the amount of fibrotic tissue formation and prevention of fibrosis.
How TD139 Works
TD139 has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of the galactoside binding pockets of galectins, and has been successful in reducing fibrosis in organs and animal models. Being an inhalable formulation, it minimizes risks of side effects due to systemic exposure in the body. TD139 was initially developed by a team of scientists from Lund University in Sweden and Edinburgh University in Scotland in 2011.
Next Steps for TD139
Galecto Biotech is in Phase 1/2a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center clinical trials in the United Kingdom. The primary endpoint is the safety and tolerability of TD139, with secondary endpoints including assessment of pharmacodynamics and efficiency of the drug in its anti-fibrotic activity.
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