sterna biologicals, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, is developing next generation antisense molecules, so-called DNAzymes, to treat chronic inflammatory diseases of lung and skin such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and COPD.
Having recently completed the pre-clinical development of SB010, sterna biologicals' lead compound for the treatment of moderate and severe Th2-driven asthma, the company will commence first clinical trials in 2011.
SB010 represents a novel approach for the treatment of asthma by targeting GATA-3, the master transcription factor regulating Th2 cell differentiation and activation. Since Th2 cells release the cytokines IL‑4, IL-5, IL-9, and IL‑13, which in turn increase mucus production and cause hyper-reactivity in the airways, GATA-3 plays a central role in orchestrating the inflammatory response in asthma and other related diseases such as atopic dermatitis.
In mouse models, SB010 exhibits excellent anti-inflammatory effects. Further pre-clinical results demonstrate that the DNAzyme possesses favourable toxicological properties, enters cells in lung following inhalation, and is chemically stable and well-suited for aerosol delivery. GMP production is established.
The second arm of sterna biologicals' development programme focuses on the role of Tbet, the master transcription factor regulating Th1 cell differentiation and activation in a range of inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis (SB020) and COPD (SB021).
Headquartered in the Biomedizinisches Forschungszentrum (BMFZ), an affiliate of Marburg University, the company has made good progress since inception in 2006 and is looking forward to clinical results.