The unique macrophage-targeted delivery technology provides tremendous opportunity. Hence, rnatics develops RNA therapeutics for a variety of inflammatory and fibrotic diseases with high medical need.
The initial indication for rnatics’ most advanced drug candidate, RCS-21, will be COVID-19-induced pulmonary hyperinflammation and fibrosis. RCS-21 specifically inhibits microRNA-21, which is among the strongest upregulated microRNAs in alveolar macrophages of individuals suffering from severe COVID-19. Targeted inhibition of miR-21 has shown significant reduction of pulmonary inflammation, amelioration of lung damage elicited by scarring, and marked improvement of lung function in a therapeutic proof-of-concept study in a preclinical animal model of inflammatory lung damage.
Further inflammatory and fibrotic diseases are currently under investigation.
Formal safety and toxicology studies are currently ongoing to confirm the non-hazardous nature of the lead compound RCS-21. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) has already given a positive assessment in a formal Advice Meeting as to the clinical development including design of Phase 1a, 1b and 1b extension in patients with COVID-19. The start of first-in-human clinical studies is projected within 12 months.