ISSAR’s positive advancement in scientific research has led to the progressive development of a synthetic peptide with anti-inflammatory properties currently undergoing toxicological studies. ISSAR continuously aspires to address unmet medical challenges of life threatening conditions like Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, striving to bridge the gap between therapeutics and their adverse effects.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease currently affects approximately 0.5% of the Western world’s population.
Inflammatory bowel diseases mainly occur due to prolonged inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract as a result of abnormal immune responses, though the clear-cut aetiology of these conditions remains unspecific. Most commonly observed conditions under this group are Crohn’s disease (CD) and Ulcerative colitis (UC). Crohn’s disease may affect any part of the GI tract, while Ulcerative colitis, as the name suggests, particularly affects the colon alone.
Researchers have identified a recent steady increase in the occurrence of CD and UC in populations of both developed and developing countries. The globally occurring cases increased from 3.7 million to over 6.8 million between the years 1990 to 2017.
The symptoms of IBD vary depending on the severity and extent of the diseases. The most common manifestations include; diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, fatigue, blood in stools and weight loss.
Therapeutic potential of peptides
Research and analysis continues to identify biological therapies as a potential for improved treatment outcomes. Dietary peptides, anti-microbial peptides, anti-inflammatory peptides and amino acids have shown convincing results in the reduction of inflammation as they target specific inflammatory pathways and regulate immune functions. Therefore may also be considered as alternative treatments for IBD.
There has been a great increase in the progression of peptide drug discovery over the past decade due to a rise in appreciation of these drugs by the pharmaceutical industry as enhanced biological therapeutics or even alternatives for small molecules. Numerous natural peptides have served as starting points for development of peptide therapeutics. For example, the gut microbiome, which is rich in diverse bacteria and other microorganisms, has a potential to give rise to new peptides from protein fragments and degradation products.
ISSAR’s 217- An anti-inflammatory molecule for IBD
ISSAR has developed a novel non-biologic, non-steroidal, synthetic small peptide of 10 amino acids, for angiogenesis related diseases and inflammatory disorders. This novel peptide drug designated as IS-217 targets the VEGFR-2 which is the major receptor for angiogenesis function.
ISSAR’s IS-217, has successfully proven its potential to arrest angiogenesis and reduce inflammatory cytokine levels in preclinical studies. ISSAR’s preclinical studies have shown IS-217 alone has a highly effective agent for IBD. The effects were even better than the positive control group which was administered betamethasone and methotrexate. The results demonstrated that IS-217 targets VEGFR-2 by down regulating p38 kinases and IL-23 and IL-17 secretion. Considering these factors together, the study provides evidence of IS-217’s potential to treat inflammatory conditions such as IBD by subcutaneous administration of and antiangiogenic compound.