Vasomune Therapeutics is a private biotechnology company developing the next generation of medications to harness the body’s ability to defend against illness by modifying cellular response to disease.

Vasomune’s novel therapeutic approach focuses on combating vascular dysfunction to stabilize the body as it battles disease.

The company’s drug candidate AV-001 targets a signaling molecule in the vasculature responsible for regulating barrier defense and the host vascular response to injury.  In response to injury or infection, the host vascular response can become unconstrained driving impairment of lung function, edema in critical organs, and fluid loss that leads to organ dysfunction and death. AV-001 activates Tie2, a tyrosine kinase receptor expressed on the cell surface of endothelial cells in the vasculature. Activated Tie2 is important for maintaining vascular homeostasis which promotes barrier defense against vascular leakage, and counteracts vascular inflammation.

Published studies of AV-001 or its predecessor analog Vasculotide,  have demonstrated efficacy in multiple preclinical models, including reduction of vascular dysfunction in trauma and pathogen-induced disease models. Vascular dysfunction is a foundational mechanism for multiple additional disease states such as:

  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Hemorrhagic Shock
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Severe Dengue Fever
  • Acute Lung Injury
  • Diabetic Foot Complications
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Ebola

Vasomune is initially developing AV-001 for the treatment of patients with pathogen-induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

Why use AV-001?

AV-001, a synthetic Angiopoietin 1 mimetic, activates the Tie2 receptor which is highly expressed on the surface of endothelial cells located within the vasculature.. AV-001 is designed to interact with the Tie2 receptor on a binding domain distinct from the natural ligands Angiopoietin 1 and Angiopoietin 2.

Activation of Tie2 broadly promotes barrier defense against vascular leak and counteracts vascular inflammation by decreasing the activity of multiple pro-inflammatory factors.  AV-001 represents a novel multifactorial approach that acts at the cellular and tissue-level. This approach is in contrast to the traditional highly specific lock and key therapies aimed at killing the pathogen or individual targets within the inflammatory response pathway. There are no clinically available medications to treat vascular leak.

What is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)?

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening heterogeneous condition that can develop after trauma, shock, sepsis, burns, and bacterial/viral pneumonia. It is estimated that 10% of all patients in hospital Intensive Care Units (ICU) have ARDS. The mortality rate for approximately 1/3 of patients who present with severe ARDS is 46%. The combined annual incidence of ARDS is 370,000 patients in the US and EU. Approximately one third of all patients have pneumonia as a risk factor for ARDS. At its core, the critical nature of ARDS revolves around an inflammatory response within the lung. As inflammation progresses, the lungs become vulnerable to edema (fluid buildup within the lungs), which if left unmanaged can result in death. Currently there is no effective targeted therapeutic to treat ARDS.

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