Startup biotech is developing type I NKT inhibitors and type II NKT modulators against inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

GlycoRegImmune (GRI) has teamed up with RxMD to progress a pipeline of inflammatory, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative disease candidates based on the former’s natural killer (NK) T cell targeting drug platforms.

RxMD is a therapeutics company focused on developing and establishing clinical proof of concept for early-stage drug candidates. Through the firm’s collaborative business model, partners can access RxMD’s clinical development capabilities and expertise on a success-based outcome basis, rather than through fee-for-service agreements.

“RxMD’s approach is perfect for an early-stage company like ours seeking to preserve resources for ongoing discovery,” says Marc Hertz, Ph.D., GRI CEO. “We now have full access to RxMD’s world-class drug development capabilities, which will allow us to design and execute development strategies for our drug candidates much more rapidly and efficiently.”

Biotech startup GRI is focused on developing NK T cell-targeted therapies against liver disease and autoimmune disorders. The firm says NK T cells share properties of both NK and T cells, and represent a functional link between the innate and adaptive immune responses, which regulate the expression of key cytokines and are critical in modulating the immune response.

In May 2009 the firm acquired exclusive worldwide rights from the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies to develop a type II NK T cell technology. Earlier this month GRI acquired exclusive worldwide rights to the Torrey Pines type I NK T cell inhibitor technology. The firm’s lead type I NK T cell inhibitors and type II NK T cell modulators include a novel formulation of an FDA-approved drug for treating alcoholic liver disease, and sulfatide and NCE sulfatide mimetics for liver disease, autoimmunity, and ischemic reperfusion injury.

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