InVasc Therapeutics negotiated a license to BioLink Life Sciences’ alpha lipoic acid derivative for use in combination with an antihypertensive drug in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. The licensed compound represents half of InVasc’s clinical-stage candidate INV-144, which combines alpha lipoic acid with losartan, and is in development for slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease in hypertensive diabetic patients. InVasc says it is preparing to move INV-144 into Phase IIa trials. The firm’s previous clinical study evaluating an ACE inhibitor-alpha lipoic acid combination reached statistical significance for multiple endpoints in hypertensive diabetic patients with early-stage chronic kidney disease, the firm notes.
InVasc is focused on developing drugs for cardiometabolic conditions including diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and their complications. The firm’s lead INV-140 series of compounds, including the clinical-stage INV-144 and INV-141, combine a generic ACE inhibitor with alpha lipoic acid. InVasc’s preclincial-stage pipeline includes a separate series of compounds targeting atherosclerosis, stroke, and acute vascular events. The firm projects making an IND application for a lead atherosclerosis candidate during 2011. In 2010, InVasc received two Phase I SBIR grants to fund continued development of treatments for hypertension and stroke based on derivatives of alpha lipoic acid and to progress the development of myeloperoxidase inhibitors for the treatment or prevention of acute vascular or inflammatory events.
CRO BioLink specializes in reformulating FDA-approved drugs to improve efficacy and safety and to reduce side effects. The firm is developing alpha lipoic acid for different indications than those licensed by InVasc, and BioLink founder and president Deanna Nelson says its new licensee’s R&D will help to support its own product development.