MONTREAL (CANADA) – September 5, 2022 – Inversago Pharma Inc. (“Inversago”), a clinical stage biotech company with a unique portfolio of CB1 inverse agonists, announces the presentation of preclinical data at the 2022 Congress of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), currently held in Barcelona, Spain and online.
These data show that Inversago’s INV-101 (zevaquenabant), a small molecule, peripherally-acting CB1 blocker, reduces fibrosis in a bleomycin model of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). As compared with the vehicle treated group, zevaquenabant shows a statistically significant reduction in the Ashcroft score, the primary endpoint in this study, measured by a standardized scale assessing fibrosis histologically.
Dr. Glenn Crater, CMO at Inversago pointed out: “These encouraging results obtained using a well-accepted preclinical model for lung fibrosis show that zevaquenabant hold promise as a novel treatment option for pulmonary fibrosis. With only two treatments for IPF available, the potential of zevaquenabant in this indication as an add-on therapy is important for patients with this devastating disease.”
While further work to understand the potential role of zevaquenabant in treating pulmonary fibrosis is warranted, presented data and existing literature suggest that it could become a useful therapy for IPF, a debilitating and deadly disease.
INV-101 (zevaquenabant) is a small molecule, peripherally-acting CB1 inverse agonist being developed by Inversago for the treatment of Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), including Progressive Fibrosis Interstitial Lung Diseases (e.g.: Systemic Sclerosis, Hermansky Pudlak Syndrome). CB1 blockers have shown efficacy in reducing or slowing the progression of fibrosis in multiple models, whilst CB1 receptors have also shown to be upregulated in these same fibrotic tissues, both in preclinical models and in tissues obtained from humans.
About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Fibrosis is characterized by an excessive deposition of extracellular matrix components interfering with normal organ function. In the lung, fibrosis interferes with normal gas exchange and reduces lung volumes, leading to shortness of breath. When the cause for fibrosis is not clear, these cases are called Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Progressive lung fibroses typically have a poor prognosis with a median life expectancy of only 2.5–3.5 years after diagnosis. As such, there is a high unmet need for anti-fibrotic therapies that could slow down fibrosis progression. Recent studies have demonstrated that CB1 receptors are unregulated in the lungs of patients with pulmonary fibrosis.
About Bleomycin IPF Model
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) comprises a large number of chronic lung diseases characterized by varying degrees of inflammation and fibrosis which are mostly idiopathic, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Because there are no natural models for IPF, the use of animal models that reproduce key known features of the disease is warranted. The bleomycin mouse model is the most widely used animal model to study lung diseases, due to its ability to reproduce many aspects of IPF, its good reproducibility, and ease of induction. Studies using this model have identified many of the cellular and molecular mechanisms now recognized as being important in pathogenesis of IPF and other fibrotic ILDs 1.
About Inversago Pharma
Located in Montreal, Inversago Pharma is a privately owned Canadian biotech company at clinical stage, specialized in the development of new therapies focusing on CB1 blockade, based on first-in-class, peripherally acting CB1 inverse agonists. Inversago aims to provide new treatment options that improve the lives of patients affected by metabolic conditions such as Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD), including Diabetic Nephropathy (DN), Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), complications from obesity, Hypertriglyceridemia (HTG), Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) and Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), as well as fibrotic indications like Progressive Fibrosis-Interstitial Lung Disease (PF-ILD), including Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).
François Ravenelle, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Inversago Pharma Inc.