AQILION AB is initiating Polaris, a project aimed at developing new drug candidates, the first in their class, to prevent the harmful effects of chronic inflammation. The project will be run in close collaboration with CRO companies Red Glead Discovery and SARomics Biostructures in Lund, Sweden.
Aqilion focuses on finding new innovative medications that can alleviate and prevent chronic inflammation and dysfunctional immune reactions, such as autoimmune diseases. The in-house Polaris project was started by Aqilion following lengthy preliminary studies to analyze interesting target proteins which a future drug could be aimed at to prevent chronic inflammation.
One of the most important inflammatory processes is the formation of a protein complex referred to as inflammasomes, a part of the innate immune system that play a key role in helping to recruit immune cells to areas of infection and inflammation. Dysfunctional inflammasomes are involved in harmful inflammations that can become chronic in many diseases. NLRP3 is the most studied inflammasome to date. The Polaris project, which is based on a drug target that activates NLRP3, aims to develop the first drug candidates in its class.
The first step in the in-house designed Polaris project is to identify and develop small molecules that bind to and inhibit the selected target protein. The project will be conducted in collaboration with the contract research organizations (CRO) Red Glead Discovery and SARomics Biostructures, with whom Aqilion has already successfully collaborated, and that have the expertise and experience that Aqilion needs to be able to put together a dedicated team for the project. They also offer a technical infrastructure with a unique method for identifying drug candidates, known as Weak Affinity Chromatography (WAC™), which will play a major role in the Polaris project.
“For 18 months, we focused on feasibility studies and analyses to determine what targets in the body could theoretically serve as drug targets, while also being manageable in-house at Aqilion, as well as being of long-term interest to our customers. After such an intensive and challenging effort, we are pleased to have successfully identified a project that meets our criteria. I look forward to working with Red Glead Discovery and SARomics Biostructures, with whom we already have an established collaboration that will be extremely valuable for us in our new Polaris project,” says Sarah Fredriksson, CEO of AQILION AB.
In simple terms, inflammation is one of the body’s defense mechanisms against harmful factors. It entails a complex reaction from blood components that arises when surrounding tissue is subjected to damage. Such damage may be caused by bacteria or virus that have penetrated the tissue, mechanical damage to the cells, or irritating substances. Inflammation represents the effort made by the organism to remove the disruptive factors and begin the healing process. Inflammation has an acute phase and is sometimes followed by chronic inflammation, which instead of healing can contribute to a number of medical conditions, including cancer, neuroinflammation and Crohn’s disease.
Aqilion is a biotech company that focuses on developing new innovative treatments for diseases caused by chronic inflammation and dysfunctional immune reactions such as autoimmune diseases. The company is mainly active in the early phases of drug discovery, from idea to early clinical development.
Aqilion combines its experience from major pharmaceutical companies with the drive and entrepreneurship of small growth companies. With solid experience of business development in innovative biotech and pharmaceutical companies, Aqilion’s experienced team and board have successfully shepherded drugs all the way from discovery to market.
AQILION AB is a privately held company headquartered in Helsingborg, Sweden.