iBio’s Anti-Fibrotic Drug Therapy Aims to Block Disease

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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anti-fibrotic drug candidate

iBio, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing plant-based therapies for diseases that include scleroderma, recently presented new data on the company’s anti-fibrotic drug candidate IBIO-CFB03. The data were presented at the 2015 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting, recently held in San Francisco, California.

IBIO-CFB03 is an endostatin-derived peptide (a type of plant protein similar to collagen) able to reduce fibrosis. The peptide was developed through the company’s iBioLaunch™ plant-based technology platform, which aims to produce compounds with superior formulation properties at lower costs. The concept was developed by Dr. Carol Feghali-Bostwick at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

Dr. Tetsuya Nishimoto from MUSC, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Feghali-Bostwick’s research group, presented new data on the mechanism of action of IBIO-CFB03 at the ACR meeting.

The researcher showed how IBIO-CFB03 was able to reduce or block fibrosis in multiple tissues. Specifically, the team found that the endostatin-related peptides contained within IBIO-CFB03 triggered proteolytic pathways (pathways characterized by the breakdown of proteins), which subsequently stimulated the production of enzymes able to degrade the extracellular matrix. The excess of extracellular matrix due to excessive collagen deposition is one underlying cause of fibrotic diseases, including scleroderma. In this way, IBIO-CFB03 can potentially not only block fibrosis, but also reverse ongoing fibrotic pathology.

“Research teams at the Medical University of South Carolina, Novici Biotech, and iBio have been working diligently and successfully to decipher the mechanism by which endostatin-derived peptides improve fibrosis,” said Dr. Terence Ryan, iBio’s Chief Scientific Officer, in a news release. “Data on this mechanism of action have been confidentially disclosed to the FDA and details will be publicly disclosed in an upcoming peer-reviewed scientific publication.”

iBio owns exclusive worldwide rights to IBIO-CFB03 and patents concerning endostatin-derived peptides as a treatment strategy for fibrotic diseases. iBio works in close collaboration with Dr. Feghali-Bostwick’s team in the development of therapeutic agents and approaches against fibrotic diseases.

Other research topics from Dr. Feghali-Bostwick’s laboratory were also presented at the meeting, including possible epigenetic differences in twins that may modulate scleroderma pathogenesis, and the role of the protein lysyl oxidase in stimulating fibrosis.