Altair Therapeutics obtained $17 million in a financing round to complete mid-stage trials with lead asthma product, inhaled AIR645, and progress new target programs. AIR645 is a second-generation, modified antisense drug targeting the alpha subunit of the human IL-4 receptor, which is also required for IL-13 activity.
During September Altair reported positive results from a Phase I multiple dose-safety and pharmacokinetic study of once-weekly inhaled AIR645 in healthy adults and mild asthmatics. “AIR645 is based upon a proprietary antisense molecular design termed MOE gapmer that greatly improves potency, stability, safety, and tolerability in vivo,” points out Joel F. Martin Ph.D., Altair president and CEO.
“AIR645 is the first such MOE gapmer oligonucleotide to be administered by inhalation in man and has now demonstrated favorable safety and pharmacokinetic profiles. The results are particularly remarkable because AIR645, a low cost-of-goods drug, inhibits a target that, to date, has been approachable only by expensive biologics.”
Altair licensed a technology for the chemical modification of antisense oligonucleotides from Isis Pharmaceuticals. The firms are also collaborating to discover inhaled 2´-MOE gapmers for other promising targets, which have not yet been disclosed, for the treatment of respiratory conditions.