Our lead program targets IL-17, an important biologically and commercially validated target for multiple autoimmune and inflammatory diseases including psoriasis.
IL-17 is an immune-cell derived cytokine that is produced in response to infection by certain microorganisms. Upon binding to its receptor on various cell types found in tissues (e.g. keratinocytes, fibroblasts and epithelial cells), it elicits downstream signals that orchestrate sustained tissue inflammation, with the aim of clearing the invading pathogen.
In autoimmune diseases, the immune system appears to overreact and mount strong immune responses in the absence of an obvious infectious event.
The experience of the leading anti-IL-17 marketed injectable biologics, COSENTYX (secukinumab) and TALTZ (ixekizumab), have established IL-17 as a clinically and commercially validated target across a variety of immunological disorders. IL-17 is a powerful driver of psoriasis, a skin disease that occurs in the absence of an obvious infectious event. In addition to psoriasis, IL-17 inhibition has been demonstrated to show clinical benefit in other autoimmune indications including, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and hidradenitis suppurativa.
Our IL-17 franchise strategy involves advancing multiple oral IL-17 compounds into clinical development, each with differentiated properties. Our lead therapeutic candidate, DC-806, is an orally-available small molecule antagonist of IL-17 being developed initially for the treatment of psoriasis with the objective of achieving therapeutic benefit similar to that of currently marketed injectable biologics. Our IL-17 franchise also includes DC-853, a compound with potentially improved potency and metabolic stability to support projected lower dosing. With our novel scaffold series, we aim to identify compounds with increased structural diversity.