Clinical-stage company ImmunogenX has acquired the assets of Alvine Pharmaceuticals, which develops biologics to target autoimmune / inflammatory diseases.
The acquisition includes Latiglutenase, an orally administered mixture of two recombinant gluten-specific proteases including glutamine-specific cysteine protease (EP-B2) and a proline-specific prolyl endopeptidase (PEP) to treat celiac disease.
Alvine’s initial focus targets celiac disease, a gluten-induced autoimmune disease that currently has no drug therapy available.
Latiglutenase, formerly known as ALV003 and renamed to IMGX-003, has more than 50 issued or pending patents. It is claimed to degrade gluten proteins into small physiologically irrelevant fragments.
It is said to be the only CD treatment to show symptomatic improvements in clinical trials.
Alvine Pharmaceuticals CFO and acting CEO David Southern said: "We are gratified that ALV003, which in randomised clinical trials appeared to be well tolerated and attenuated gluten-induced intestinal mucosal injury in well-controlled celiac patients, will be further developed by a company that is deeply knowledgeable about celiac disease and plans to take it through late-stage clinical trials.
"ImmungenX has impressed us with their exceptional team, their drive, and most of all their dedication to helping the celiac community."
In addition to acquiring IMGX-003, ImmunogenX is developing an advanced diagnostic tool.
The company is extending and commercialising a clinical study for a metabolic marker compound that can measure the state of recovery of a celiac patient undergoing gluten-free diet treatment.