DS Biopharma (DS), a privately held drug discovery and development company with industry-leading expertise in lipid science, launched Afimmune, a spin-out company focused solely on fibrotic conditions such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and pulmonary disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
The new company, Afimmune, will continue the clinical development of DS102, a novel, anti-fibrotic compound. The company will study DS102 in NASH in addition to certain pulmonary disorders. Afimmune has a number of other compounds in pre-clinical development.
DS Biopharma will focus on the development of DS107, an anti-inflammatory compound for atopic dermatitis and pruritus and DS109 for other inflammatory skin disorders such as acne.
Dr. John Climax, executive chairman of DS Biopharma, said, “By spinning out DS102 into a new company, DS Biopharma can direct its full attention to developing products for inflammatory skin conditions whereas Afimmune will focus on fibrotic conditions and pulmonary disorders.'
Afimmune plans to start a phase IIa study with DS102 in NASH patients later this year, this compound having been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in a phase I trial. The company also plans to start a phase IIa clinical trial in COPD patients following positive preclinical data.
DS Biopharma, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a privately held drug discovery and development company working on new medicines that improve the quality of life for people with diseases for which existing therapies are ineffective or unsafe.