London, UK and Waltham, Massachusetts, USA – 10 December, 2019 – Engitix Ltd (‘Engitix’), a biotechnology company developing a portfolio of programmes in fibrosis and solid tumours using its proprietary human extracellular matrix (ECM) platform, and Morphic Therapeutic (‘Morphic’), a biopharmaceutical company developing oral integrin therapies, today announce that they have entered into a research collaboration to identify ECM-related drug targets in fibrostenotic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an intestinal fibrosis complication that affects approximately 30 per cent of Crohn’s Disease patients.
The collaboration will use Engitix’s ECM platform to identify drug targets for potential future oral integrin drug candidates as treatments for fibrostenotic diseases.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Engitix will apply its unique tissue-specific ECM platform to identify and characterise the expression of drug targets, and cover integrin and non-integrin expression in fibrostenosis. By incorporating human ECM, Engitix’s in vitro models closely resemble the natural cell microenvironment and increase the probability that target identification can occur in a relevant and meaningful context.
Based on its MInT discovery platform, Morphic aims to advance treatments for patients suffering from serious chronic diseases, including autoimmune, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as fibrosis and cancer.
Dr Giuseppe Mazza, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Engitix, commented: “We are delighted to work closely with Morphic Therapeutic, who recognise the potential for Engitix’s ECM-based platform to identify therapeutic targets and profile drug candidates with greater success. Engitix offers a unique opportunity to understand better the expression pattern of integrins as well as other relevant disease pathways in a more physiological, in vitro model of human intestinal fibrostenosis.This collaboration may expand the depth and breadth of our ECM platform by exploring disease indications beyond our in-house programmes and we are pleased to be a part of Morphic’s drug development journey.”
IBD is characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, with two main types: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Its fibrostenotic complications can lead to stricture formation (narrowing), intestinal obstruction and a need for surgical intervention and, as such, is one of the largest unresolved clinical challenges in IBD.
About Engitix Ltd
Engitix is developing a portfolio of programmes in fibrosis and solid tumours using its pioneering human extracellular matrix (ECM) drug discovery platform. The use of more physiologically relevant human in vitro models is transforming our ability to identify new targets, determine modes/mechanisms of action, and more accurately predict the efficacy of therapeutics candidates.
Now a transatlantic biotechnology company, Engitix was founded in July 2016 to commercialise cutting-edge research executed at the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, Division of Medicine, University College London (UCL). The Company is headquartered at the world-renowned Royal Free Hospital, London, UK with its wholly-owned US subsidiary Engitix, Inc, based in Cambridge, MA, US.
In November 2018, Engitix raised $6.4 million in series A financing.
For more information, please visit www.engitix.com
About Morphic Therapeutic
Morphic Therapeutic is a biopharmaceutical company developing a new generation of oral integrin therapies for the treatment of serious chronic diseases, including autoimmune, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, fibrosis and cancer. In collaboration with AbbVie, Janssen and Schrödinger, Morphic is advancing its pipeline and discovery activities using its proprietary MInT technology platform which leverages the Company’s unique understanding of integrin structure and biology. For more information, visit www.morphictx.com
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