Targeted therapeutics drug discovery and development company Arrien Pharmaceuticals has entered a worldwide license agreement with an unnamed US-based pharmaceutical firm for the clinical agent ARN-6039.

ARN-6039 will be developed for the potential treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis, as well as other autoimmune disorders.

Psoriasis is a common chronic autoimmune disorder of the skin that affects approximately 3% or 125 million people worldwide.

"The partnership of ARN-6039 at the Phase I stage of development validates Arrien’s small molecule fragment-based discovery platform."

Enhanced activity of TH17 (T helper 17) cells, and the associated excess production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-17 and IL-17A, are major elements responsible for the pathophysiology of psoriasis.

The current license agreement involves the clinical agent ARN-6039, in addition to Arrien Pharmaceuticals’ series of ROR-γt targeting compounds.

Before signing the licensing agreement, the company has completed a single US centre Phase I clinical trial that demonstrated the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single ascending doses of ARN-6039 in healthy adults.

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The partnership of ARN-6039 at the Phase I stage of development validates Arrien’s small molecule fragment-based discovery platform (FIELDS).

ARN-6039 is an inverse agonist of ROR-γt, a transcription factor that regulates TH17 and the generation of IL-17 and IL-17A, pro-inflammatory cytokines that are important for the immunopathology of autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis.

Inhibition of ROR-γt has been demonstrated both pre-clinically and clinically to have efficacy in the treatment of multiple autoimmune disorders.

The ARN-6039 was discovered through Arrien Pharmaceuticals’ FIELDS drug discovery technology platform.