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The Girtab program is based on the drug candidate AQ312, which targets a core receptor known as AhR for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD and UC). Modulating the AhR receptor stimulates the body’s innate immune system to boost the quantity of cells in the intestinal lining that have the ability to mitigate inflammation.

A drug that reduces inflammation specifically in the colon could potentially alleviate symptoms for patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and IBD.

No similar drug has been approved for ulcerative colitis at this time. Compared with existing treatments, the drug candidate AQ312 is being developed in a form that will be released locally in the colon so as not to affect the whole body, thereby minimizing potential side effects.

UC is a lifelong disease that has a profound emotional and social impact on patients. UC is slightly more common in women than in men and about 0.2% of the world’s population suffer from UC. The number of people living with the disease (prevalence) is expected to increase by 0.8% each year.