Next-generation granulocyte-targeted therapies
Next-generation granulocyte-targeted therapies
In many chronic inflammatory diseases, mast cells are central drivers of pathology. The paucity of mast cell-selective drugs leaves a huge unmet medical need in this area.
Targeting of mast cells via indiscriminate blocking of c-KIT signalling, while potentially efficacious, can lead to severe, dose-limiting bone marrow suppression.
Granular’s approach targets mast cells specifically & powerfully, for top-down, disease-modifying immune modulation with improved safety profile.
Mast Cell Targeting
Current anti-inflammatory therapies are ‘bottom up’ approaches that primarily target cytokines or their cognate receptors. Efficacy can be limited by the redundancy that exists in these pathways. Broad spectrum small molecule kinase inhibitors have suffered from toxicity issues. Large bi- and tri-specific molecules aim to tackle redundancy, but struggle with molecular complexity & development challenges. Granular’s next-generation approach directly & specifically targets mast cells, blocking mast cell activation, turning off downstream signalling & inhibiting proliferation.
Mast cell biology underpins many chronic atopic disease conditions. Some success in mast-cell targeting has been achieved using both small molecules and antibodies targeting c-Kit. However, c-Kit plays a central role in hematopoietic stem cell proliferation in the bone marrow & c-Kit targeting comes with a significant risk of myelosuppression.
Granular’s next-generation approach selectively targets mast cells. In this way, we can drive direct & specific mast cell inhibition, avoid systemic tox and enable safe dosing for chronic disease indications such as chronic urticaria and allergic asthma.
Granular Therapeutics make inflammatory disease modifying medicines built on lessons learned over 20 years of drug development. We are passionate about finding simple solutions for complex disease biology to help patients live normal lives, free from chronic disease symptoms.
CEO & Co-Founder
Jonny is a Biotech entrepreneur and founder with two decades of experience in biologics discovery and development in academia, government and pharma. His career has spanned CBER-FDA to Wyeth and Pfizer before founding UltraHuman which in turn gave birth to LockBody Therapeutics and Granular. Jonny has published widely in the field of antibody engineering and acts on the Board of several leading biotech firms.
COO & Co-Founder
Jamie Coleman CoFounded CodeBase, the UK’s largest tech incubator, and UltraHuman which spun out LockBody Therapeutics, now Centessa, and Granular Therapeutics. He was a Board Member of the Edinburgh International Festival, ScotlandIS and the Creative Industries Federation. He has been involved for many years in the interface between software, healthcare and investment.
Prior to joining Granular Therapeutics, Orla was Senior Director of Pfizer’s bio therapeutic optimisation group leading multi-disciplinary teams across diverse research units internally, as well as driving academic collaborations with universities across Ireland & the UK. She has supported discovery programs from conception through to late stage development, with a number of these molecules currently progressing through clinical trial.
Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Harris is Chair of Dermatology, Director of the Autoimmune Therapeutics Institute, and Director of the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMass Medical School. He is a dermatologist and physician-scientist, caring for patients in a vitiligo specialty clinic and running a research laboratory focused on understanding disease pathogenesis and developing new treatments. His group integrates basic, translational, and clinical research strategies to accomplish this. As a result, early clinical trials in vitiligo have shown success. Dr. Harris founded Villaris Therapeutics, whose focus is to develop an effective, long-lasting treatment for vitiligo, and NIRA Biosciences, focused on inflammatory skin diseases.
Dr. Kim’s laboratory focuses on neuroimmune mechanisms that underlie skin inflammation and itch. He discovered the presence of group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) in the skin, and elucidated their contribution to the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD) in both mice and humans. These cells have emerged as primary sources of the type 2 cytokines, critical targets for biologic therapy in AD and other allergic disorders. In 2017, the Kim Lab was the first to identify the functionality of IL-4/13 and Janus kinases (JAKs) in sensory neurons as master regulators of chronic itch. Dr. Kim led the design of the pivotal PhII trial for topical ruxolitinib cream (Incyte) for AD which its currently in PhIII. He holds a patent for the use of JAK inhibitors in chronic itch. Dr Kim is on the SAB for Abrax Japan, Granular Therapeutics, National Eczema Association, and Cell Reports Medicine.
Sarbjit S. Saini
Sarbjit S. Saini, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following medical school & a residency at the University of Michigan, Dr Saini completed an allergy fellowship at Johns Hopkins, where he joined the faculty in 1997. He became the allergy program director in 2008, overseeing the training of more than 35 clinical fellows. Dr. Saini’s research focusses on IgE receptor biology in basophils and mast cells, and he has served as principal and co-investigator for basic and translational studies examining the role of IgE in allergic airway disease, anaphylaxis and chronic urticaria. He has published over 100 journal articles, book chapters and editorials and is the current editor for urticaria, angioedema and mast cell disorders for UpToDate. He is an active board member of the American Board of Allergy & Immunology, the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Kevin is a co-founder and Partner at Medicxi, serving on the boards of portfolio companies including Levicept, Capella Bioscience, Apcintex, UltraHuman and Granular Therapeutics. He also acts as chairman of Crescendo Biologics and sits on the strategic advisory committee of Hilleman Laboratories. Prior to Medicxi, Kevin was CTO at Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT), where he led the discovery of Humira (marketed by Abbott Pharmaceuticals) and Benlysta (marketed by GlaxoSmithKline).
Francesco De Rubertis
Francesco is a co-founder and Partner at Medicxi, serving on the boards of a number of portfolio companies, including Palladio Biosciences, Rivus Pharmaceuticals, Orexia and Inexia, UltraHuman and Granular Therapeutics. His prior investments include CellZome (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), GenMab (Copenhagen: GEN.CO), Micromet (acquired by Amgen), Molecular Partners (Swiss:MOLN.SW), and PanGenetics (acquired by Abbott).
Get in Touch
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