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Alnitak is Aqilion’s preclinical program focused on developing first-in-class oral, potent and selective small molecule inhibitors of TAK1.

TAK1, a serine/threonine kinase, is as a central regulator of inflammatory signaling pathways that integrates innate immune signalling and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Clinically validated inflammatory mediators such as IL-6, TNFɑ and IL-1β are directly linked to TAK1 activity. An oral selective TAK1 inhibitor has the potential to treat a wide range of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, inflammatory bowel disease and fibrosis.

Using cutting edge expertise in structure-based drug discovery (SBDD) and pharmacology, Aqilion has within the internally generated Alnitak program discovered highly potent and drug-like TAK1 inhibitors.

Aqilion’s comprehensive business strategy is to sign a collaborative or licensing agreements with partners that in turn have the necessary resources and opportunities to conduct optimal clinical development programs. As a successful example of this strategy, Aqilion entered into an exclusive license and strategic research collaboration with Merck to discover, develop and commercialize small molecule inhibitors of TAK1 from the Alnitak program in February 2023.