Mifcare, a privately held biotechnology company developing breakthrough anti-inflammatory therapeutics announced today positive preclinical results for MFC1040 in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) through collaboration with Inserm. MFC1040 is a small molecule antagonist of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), a pleiotropic mediator promoting pro-inflammatory immune responses.
The team of Christophe Guignabert, PhD, from INSERM U999, an academic laboratory specialized in pulmonary hypertension (PH), found that MIF is increased in both patients with PAH and animal models of the disease, contributing to the intense vascular remodeling of pulmonary vessels.
The same team demonstrated that MFC1040 treatment regresses established pulmonary vascular remodeling in the monocrotaline (MCT) rat model of PAH. Key findings indicated that MCT-treated rats receiving single daily dose of MFC1040 for two weeks exhibit a marked decrease in mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) and improvement in cardiac structure and functions. In addition, MFC1040 treatment significantly decreases the degree of pulmonary arterial wall thickness induced by MCT. Interestingly, these beneficial effects observed with MFC1040 were associated with a marked decrease in key inflammatory mediators known to contribute to PAH, such as IL-6 and MCP- 1.
“These encouraging preclinical data suggest that MFC1040 may provide therapeutic benefit for people suffering from PAH and reinforce our commitment to target inflammation which is considered as a primary component of PAH pathogenesis” said Gael Jalce, PhD, CEO at Mifcare.
There is an urgent need to develop new therapies that address pulmonary vascular remodeling in addition to current approved PAH drugs which are mainly vasodilator agents. Mifcare is currently conducting preclinical development of its MIF antagonist lead MFC1040 that has multiple indications in the field of chronic inflammation, and plans to initiate a phase I clinical trial in the late 2017.