Potential Application in Discovering Therapeutic Agents for Multiple Autoimmune Diseases
LA JOLLA, Calif., February 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- CalciMedica today announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued to CalciMedica US Patent No. 7,645,588, a composition patent involving STIM1, a key component of the calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel. The patent, entitled “Composition comprising a cell comprising a STIM1 protein and an agent that modulates intracellular calcium and methods of use,” has a priority date of March 4, 2003 and was issued on January 12, 2010. The compositions covered by the patent include both a recombinant cell expressing the STIM1 protein and an agent that reduces calcium ion stores in the cell.
The CRAC channel is the gatekeeper for the ICRAC-NFAT pathway, a network essential for the adaptive immune response. STIM1, a calcium sensor in the endoplasmic reticulum, interacts with Orai1, the CRAC channel subunit in the plasma membrane, to regulate calcium entry into T cells. The composition of matter claims can be used for multiple purposes, including assays for the discovery of agents that modulate the activity of CRAC channels. These agents, in turn, can be developed for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis as well as organ transplant rejection and other diseases of the immune system, such as allergy and asthma.
“Establishing patent protection of the STIM1 technology, a key component of our drug discovery platform, is an important achievement for CalciMedica,” said Gonul Velicelebi, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of CalciMedica and coinventor on the patent. “We have made great strides in using this technology to identify novel small molecule CRAC channel inhibitors and validating the potential of the CRAC channel as a therapeutic target. We are advancing to investigational new drug (IND) status with our lead molecule, an oral, selective CRAC channel inhibitor with in vivo efficacy in animal models of inflammation, and we look forward to realizing our goal of bringing this first-in-class drug into clinical development.”
About CalciMedica, Inc.
CalciMedica is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The primary focus of the company's drug discovery effort is based on the specific inhibition of calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channels, a key component of the ICRAC-NFAT pathway. The ICRAC-NFAT calcium entry pathway is essential for the adaptive immune response, and has been clinically validated as an important drug target in humans through the use of calcineurin inhibitors. The CRAC channel is the gatekeeper for this pathway, and based on the phenotype of SCID patients with loss-of-function mutation in Orai1, it is predicted that selective inhibition of CRAC channels should be effective and safe for chronic immunomodulation. CalciMedica has acquired exclusive rights to both STIM1 and Orai1 which act synergistically to regulate CRAC channel activity. CalciMedica has discovered novel potent and selective CRAC channel inhibitors with good in vivo efficacy and pharmaceutical properties and is advancing the lead molecule to an investigational new drug (IND) filing. CalciMedica is located in La Jolla, California.
For more information, please contact:
Gonul Velicelebi, President & CEO,