Pharma Focus Asia

Engitix and Morphic Enter Research Collaboration to Identify ECM-Related Targets in Fibrostenotic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Engitix Ltd (‘Engitix’), a biotechnology company developing a portfolio of programmes in fibrosis and solid tumours using its proprietary human extracellular matrix (ECM) platform, and Morphic Therapeutic (‘Morphic’), a biopharmaceutical company developing oral integrin therapies, today announce that they have entered into a research collaboration to identify ECM-related drug targets in fibrostenotic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an intestinal fibrosis complication that affects approximately 30 per cent of Crohn’s Disease patients.

The collaboration will use Engitix’s ECM platform to identify drug targets for potential future oral integrin drug candidates as treatments for fibrostenotic diseases.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Engitix will apply its unique tissue-specific ECM platform to identify and characterise the expression of drug targets, and cover integrin and non-integrin expression in fibrostenosis. By incorporating human ECM, Engitix’s in vitro models closely resemble the natural cell microenvironment and increase the probability that target identification can occur in a relevant and meaningful context.

Based on its MInT discovery platform, Morphic aims to advance treatments for patients suffering from serious chronic diseases, including autoimmune, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as fibrosis and cancer.

Dr Giuseppe Mazza, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Engitix, commented: “We are delighted to work closely with Morphic Therapeutic, who recognise the potential for Engitix’s ECM-based platform to identify therapeutic targets and profile drug candidates with greater success. Engitix offers a unique opportunity to understand better the expression pattern of integrins as well as other relevant disease pathways in a more physiological, in vitro model of human intestinal fibrostenosis. This collaboration may expand the depth and breadth of our ECM platform by exploring disease indications beyond our in-house programmes and we are pleased to be a part of Morphic’s drug development journey.”

IBD is characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, with two main types: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Its fibrostenotic complications can lead to stricture formation (narrowing), intestinal obstruction and a need for surgical intervention and, as such, is one of the largest unresolved clinical challenges in IBD.

magazine-slider-imageMFA + MMA 2024CPHI Chine || PMEC China 2024Asia Healthcare Week 2024Advance DoE WorkshopNitrosamine Advance Workshop 2024CPHI Korea 2024CHEMICAL INDONESIA 2024INALAB 2024 Thermo Scientific - DynaDrive and DynaSpinDigital Health Asia 2024Rehab Expo 2024ISPE Singapore Affiliate Conference & Exhibition 20242024 PDA Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Quality Conference2024 PDA Cell and Gene Pharmaceutical Products Conference 2024 PDA Aseptic Manufacturing Excellence Conference2024 PDA Aseptic Processing of Biopharmaceuticals ConferencePharma Quality Excellence Awards 20244th Annual Pharma GMP Quality Management 20243rd World ADC Asia 2024LogiPharma Asia 2024