Developing novel drugs
for inflammatory and immune diseases
CalciMedica is focused on the discovery and development of novel drugs for the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory and immune disorders, and organ transplant rejection. These disorders affect millions of people worldwide. Inflammation is a common yet complex reaction of the body to harmful stimuli, characterized by the involvement of different cellular and vascular components that work together to resolve the insult. Inflammatory disorders, which typically involve dysfunction of the immune system, underlie many different diseases, ranging from asthma to Alzheimer’s disease and include autoimmune disease. More than 80 autoimmune diseases are known, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, Crohn’s disease and type I diabetes; they result from the attack on and destruction of different organs by the patient’s own immune system.
The Company’s strategy is based on the specific inhibition of the calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel, a key component of the Icrac pathway in immune cells. In most other cell types, CRAC channels are involved in maintaining general calcium homeostasis, and in some situations dysfunction of this process can lead to disease. In immune cells, however, the Icrac pathway is essential for the adaptive immune response, and has been validated as a drug target in immune disease in humans. CRAC channels have also been found to play a key role in other inflammatory diseases, such as acute pancreatitis, which the Company is currently pursuing.
CalciMedica has acquired exclusive rights to Orai1, the CRAC channel subunit residing in the plasma membrane, and STIM 1, the calcium sensor and Orai1 activator located in the endoplasmic reticulum, which together function as gatekeepers of the Icrac pathway and mediators of the transit of extracellular calcium into cells for all drug discovery applications. With this technology, the Company has developed a number of potent, specific CRAC channel inhibitors as drug molecules.
CalciMedica’s therapeutic approach to acute pancreatitis, based on CRAC channel inhibition, targets this disease in two ways.
CalciMedica Doses First Patients in Acute Pancreatitis Clinical Study. CalciMedica announced that the first patients in a Phase 2a clinical study for acute pancreatitis have been dosed with its proprietary calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel inhibitor CM4620.
CalciMedica Names Two Senior Executives to its Board of Directors. CalciMedica announced that it named two independent members to its Board of Directors, Lakhmir Chawla, MD, currently Chief Medical Officer of La Jolla Pharmaceuticals Company (NASDAQ: LJPC), and Christopher Krueger, JD, MBA, a co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Escalier Biosciences.