Vasomune Therapeutics develops medicines targeting diseases associated with vascular dysfunction

The Tie2 receptor is expressed on the surface of endothelial cells. Its’ two main growth factors, Angiopoietin 1 and Angiopoietin 2, propagate anti or pro‑inflammatory responses respectively through the Tie2 receptor and it is the balance between Angiopoietin-1/Angiopoietin-2 that is critical in defining vascular stability.

Vasomune’s lead compound, AV‑001, like its predecessor analog Vasculotide, is a fully synthetic Angiopoietin 1 mimetic designed to be optimal for opposing vascular inflammation and leakage.

The overwhelming majority of pharmaceutical efforts aimed at modulating the Tie2 pathway do so by inhibiting Angiopoietin 2. However, protein therapeutics designed to inhibit a single factor have historically been fraught with issues of ‘biological compensation’. Preclinical studies show that activation of the Tie2 receptor with AV‑001 provide robust vessel-stabilizing properties following exposure to a diverse range of inflammatory mediators. 

Consistent with the breadth of protection, administration of AV‑001/Vasculotide has proven therapeutic benefit in several different in vivo disease models marked by vascular dysfunction, including diabetic wound healing, asthma, atopic dermatitis, diabetic atherosclerosis, metastatic disease and acute lung injury.

Vasomume Therapeutics has selected pathogen-induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) as its lead indication based on published results from in vivo studies of pneumonia and multiple strains of influenza.  Results from these studies of AV-001 or its predecessor analog Vasculotide demonstrated significantly improved survival following exposure to lethal doses of influenza. In a murine model of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Vasculotide administration significantly restored lung endothelial barrier function and reduced lung hyperpermeability.  Importantly, the systemic inflammatory response was unaffected.

Vasomune and our collaborators have found that AV‑001/Vasculotide demonstrate benefit in opposing both lung and kidney injury, and show significant increases in survival. 
Based on these promising preclinical studies, Vasomune has selected AV‑001 as its clinical candidate and intends to initiate clinical trials in 2020.
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