Beyond Biotech podcast 41: Sarcoidosis

podcast 41

This week, to coincide with World Sarcoidosis Day, we talk about sarcoidosis with Marcin Szumowski, CEO and president of the management board of Molecure. 

World Sarcoidosis Day

As part of Sarcoidosis Awareness Month, which is observed each April, World Sarcoidosis Day is held on April 13. But what is sarcoidosis?

The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research explains that it is an inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas—or small clumps of inflammatory cells—in one or more organs of the body. 

When the immune system goes into overdrive and too many of these clumps form, they can interfere with an organ’s structure and function. When left unchecked, chronic inflammation can lead to fibrosis, or permanent scarring of organ tissue. 

Sarcoidosis affects the lungs in around 90% of cases, but it can affect almost any organ in the body. Despite advances in research, sarcoidosis is difficult to diagnose, and has limited treatment options. There is no known cure.

In the U.S. alone, there are between 150,000 and 200,000 people with the condition, with around 1.2 million individuals with sarcoidosis worldwide.

Molecure

Molecure is a clinical stage biotechnology company that uses its medicinal chemistry and biology capabilities to discover and develop first-in-class small molecule drug candidates that directly modulate the function of underexplored protein and RNA targets to treat multiple incurable diseases.

Molecure has generated a diverse pipeline of seven programs with the support of academic life science institutions globally, including Yale University, Rutgers University, the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) in Ghent, Belgium, the University of Michigan and the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IIMCB) in Warsaw, Poland.

Molecure’s most advanced in-house drug candidate is OATD-01, a first-in-class inhibitor of CHIT1 for the treatment of interstitial lung diseases, such as sarcoidosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which is phase II ready. A phase II trial in patients with sarcoidosis is expected to start in the second half of 2023.

Its second proprietary candidate is OATD-02, an oral, potent and selective first-in-class, dual arginase inhibitor (ARG1 and ARG2) for the treatment of cancer, which advanced to phase I clinical development in March 2023.

Molecure’s headquarters and laboratories are located in Warsaw, Poland, with an additional laboratory facility in Łódź.

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