• Podocytes are lost in urine in many kidney diseases and its integrin receptor α3β1 keeps them in place
  • The company has identified novel allosteric agonist antibodies against α3β1 to anchor podocytes
  • Integrin α3β1 specific agonist antibodies expected to move to clinical testing stage in 2023

Miami, FL, October 10, 2022 (PRWeb) – 149 Bio, LLC has announced its therapeutic target for kidney diseases as integrin heterodimer alpha3beta1 (α3β1) that is highly expressed on kidney podocytes and is essential for podocyte attachment and health. The company also disclosed identification of novel allosteric agonist antibodies that target integrin α3β1 and enhance integrin-dependent ligand binding and cell adhesion.

Human kidney is a bean-shaped organ in the body that filters blood, by removing waste and excess fluids from the body via urine. Each of the body’s two kidneys is made up of a million tiny filters called nephrons, with a glomerulus as its main filtration apparatus. In turn, each glomerulus is composed of thousands of unique cells, called podocytes, that stick to the outside of tiny blood vessels and form an inter-digitating meshwork that forms the kidney’s molecular filter. α3β1 is the key integrin on the surface of podocytes that mediates podocyte attachment to the outside of blood vessels and form a healthy glomerulus. Progressive loss of podocytes in disease, via de-adhesion and injury, is a hallmark of multiple glomerular diseases, such as Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).

Since the integrin α3β1 mediates podocyte adhesion, activating integrin α3β1 may act as a compensatory mechanism in glomerular diseases, by helping stabilize podocyte attachment, preventing cell loss in the urine, and thereby providing protection from loss in kidney function. Indeed, prior research from the laboratory of 149 Bio’s co-founder, Vineet Gupta, PhD, has shown that certain integrin agonists help protect the podocytes and the kidney from injury and disease. Thus, the company developed an assay platform to discover agonist antibodies targeting α3β1 and has identified several novel antibodies.

The company expects to present some of the initial findings from this research at an upcoming international conference. The company anticipates moving its lead α3β1 allosteric agonist antibody candidate into clinical trials in 2023.

Investor and Media Contact:

Santiago Balza Pineda