Inflammation is a natural and desirable biological response. It is helpful in protecting the body against damage from injury and stress.
However, in the long term inflammation is harmful and underlies almost all chronic diseases including cardiovascular, pulmonary, ocular and autoimmune diseases. Chronic inflammation is a silent epidemic. Moreover, untreated inflammation can lead to fibrosis in which irreversible change can occur to tissue impacting function, limiting quality of life and causing increases in morbidity and mortality.
Audax Therapeutics has a platform to develop small molecule activators of the enzyme EPAC1. We have developed two new drug classes that activate signalling associated with suppression of inflammation.
EPAC1 is a recently discovered target delivering a programme of protection against inflammatory stimuli. We have shown that:
EPAC1 mediates positive therapeutic actions of PDEs in inflammation
EPAC1 protects against airway inflammation and airway remodelling in asthma, pollution exposure and COPD
EPAC1 maintains system-wide epithelial and endothelial barrier function
EPAC1 inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome function
EPAC1 inhibits fibrotic gene expression
Audax’ compounds have exhibited broad anti-inflammatory effects in vitro, by their highly specific targeting of EPAC1.
Our current focus is inflammation and fibrosis in pulmonary and vascular tissues
The company’s initial focus is to develop inhaled compounds targeting idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), both of which remain areas of high unmet clinical need.