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The Alnitak program is developing first-in-class oral, small molecule, potent and selective inhibitors of TAK1.

TAK1 is a serine/threonine kinase that acts as a central regulator of inflammatory signaling pathways that integrates innate immune signalling and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Clinically validated pathways/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 Alnitak program discovered highly potent and drug-like TAK1 inhibitors. Aqilion will nominate a candidate for preclinical development in 2022.

Aqilion’s comprehensive strategy for the Alnitak program is to sign a collaborative agreement or licensing agreement with a partner that in turn has the necessary resources and opportunities to conduct an optimal clinical development program. The company has initiated early discussions with some chosen potential partners. The process has intensified and resulted in in-depth encouraging talks with a few prospective partners.