SuppreMol has been awarded €1.6 million ($2.1 million) in research funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to support further development of its lead clinical candidate, SM101. The grant will be used partly to support early clinical evaluation of SM101 against systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and particularly the lupus nephritis subform of the disease. It will also help fund preclinical evaluation of SM101 in animal models of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
SM101 is a recombinant, soluble, nonglycosylated version of the Fc gamma (Fcγ) receptor IIb. The drug is initially in development for the treatment of primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), for which orphan drug designation has been granted in the U.S. and EU. SuppreMol believes SM101 could also have utility in a range of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.
Located in Martinsried, Germany, SuppreMol was founded in 2002 as a spin-off from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. The firm is specialized in the field of Fcγ receptor technology for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Its strategy is two fold, and encompasses both the development of recombinant soluble versions of Fcγ receptors (sFcR) that compete with cellular Fcγ receptors (FcγRs) for immune complex interaction, and the development of anti-FcR antibodies against Fcγ receptor targets.
SM101 is in Phase Ib/IIa clinical development for the treatment of ITP, and is currently in preclinical development against SLE and poised for full preclinical development against rheumatoid arthritis. A monoclonal antibody targeting FcγRIIb and a next-generation sFcR candidate are at the lead-optimization stage.
The BMBF funding comes less than a week after SuppreMol reported raising €15.5 million ($20.5 million) in a Series C round of financing.