SAN DIEGO, May 31, 2019 – selectION, Inc., a biotherapeutic company focused on the development of peptide ion channel blockers with class leading selectivity, announced today it has received a $4.1M investment as first tranche of its Series A financing. New and existing investors include SDL Ventures and Global Source Ventures.
“selectION has developed a powerful platform to design optimal blockers of ion channel targets with extremely high selectivity, the safety-limiting feature of molecules targeting ion channels.” said Antonius Schuh, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of selectION and a Managing Partner of Global Source Ventures. “With the funding received, we will complete pre-clinical development of si-544, a highly selective peptide blocker of Kv1.3, for the potential treatment of a wide range of effector-memory T cell (TEM) mediated diseases, including orphan and widespread autoimmune diseases and orphan oncology indications.” The Company plans to initiate clinical development of si-544 by the end of 2020.
selectION, Inc., San Diego, is developing si-544, a highly selective peptide blocker of Kv1.3, for the treatment of a wide range of effector memory T cell (TEM) driven diseases. The immuno-selective agent si-544 addresses an unmet medical need by functionally inhibiting and eliminating disease associated chronically activated TEM cells without compromising the protective immune response. si-544 is expected to combine disease-modifying clinical activity with an optimal safety profile.
Immuno-Selective Therapy – Background and Scientific Rationale
TEM cells play a central role in the early immune response to pathogen-derived antigenic stimuli. The potassium channels Kv1.3 and KCa3.1 are compensatory and cooperatively maintaining ion homeostasis in TEM cells upon activation and antigen stimulation-triggered rise of intracellular calcium levels. Typically, activated TEM cells are eliminated within days of activation. However, a few TEM cells can escape physiological control mechanisms and transition into chronically activated TEM cells that become exclusively dependent on Kv1.3 due to loss of KCa3.1 expression. Thus, chronically activated TEM cells are sensitive to Kv1.3 blockade. Selective blockage of Kv1.3 specifically disrupts the signaling pathway only of disease-associated chronically activated TEM cells, terminates their activation and inhibits the pathogenic proliferation cascade, yet leaves the immune response to other antigens untouched. Therefore, Kv1.3 can be regarded as a target of choice for immuno-selective therapies in numerous TEM cell driven diseases.
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Investor & Media Contacts:
Dr. Andreas Klostermann
Founder & CSO