Girtab is a best-in-class aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) modulator for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
AhR is a transcription factor that is crucial for the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis. AhR signaling deficiency is implicated as one of the root causes of IBD and there is extensive preclinical and clinical evidence suggesting a central role of AhR signaling in inflammatory and auto-immune gastrointestinal disorders (i.e. ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease). These findings suggest that AhR modulation is a highly promising strategy for treating IBD.
Aqilion has developed a highly potent small molecule AhR agonist. The compound has demonstrated in vivo efficacy with target engagement and immune modulation in a 7-week disease model in mice following oral dosing. The treatment was well tolerated and met the primary endpoint. Aqilion believes that the Girtab program has discovered a small molecule ligand that allows for the safe and efficacious modulation of AhR. The program is now ready for preclinical development. Aqilion has fully owned IP covering both composition of matter and use.