In autoimmune diseases, DYRK1A is reported to induce pro-inflammatory responses by altering T cell differentiation which is crucial for the balance of immune system. Therefore, we have started developing a DYRK1A inhibitor to re-balance the hyper-activated immune system back to the normal status
Inflammatory diseases range from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, to neuroinflammation such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The amount of social cost for anti-inflammatory disease exceeded $100 billion per year and it is expected to increase by 2~5% every year. Currently, there are few drugs in the market that are efficacious, safe, affordable, and convenient to use and many patients are waiting for innovative drugs. There is a huge room for improvement and multiple companies are developing drugs for inflammatory diseases.
In the atopic dermatitis animal model, VRN02 has shown better efficacy than steroid which is widely used for now. In the peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from ulcerative colitis patients, VRN02 inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine production more strongly than a competitor compound from global big pharma, which is in phase II clinical trial. In the Crohn’s disease animal model, VRN02 has shown better efficacy than Enbrel, which is TNFa targeting injectables. Other than these indications, we have observed efficacy in other inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis and systemic lupus erythematosus, suggesting that VRN02 can be developed for the treatment of many inflammatory diseases
Voronoi is collaborating with research organizations that have expertise in each inflammatory disease type. Our collaborators include Korea Brain Research Institute, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Yonsei University Hospital, Yeungnam University College of Pharmacy, Chonbuk University College of Medicine, Kyungpook University College of Medicine, Ajou University College of Pharmacy, Inje University College of Medicine, and we are under discussion with more research organizations.