The following diseases are targeted by Alcea’s immune-tolerance restoration technology.Asthma
Asthma is one of the sharp-raising diseases in urban countries. It affects more than 25 million Americans. This represents 7.7% of adults and 8.4% of children. Asthma causes the medical system in the US more than $56B of yearly costs. The direct costs make up almost $50.1B, of which hospital stays are the largest share. Indirect costs make up $5.9B. The main treatment for asthma has been either dampening of the immune system using corticosteroids, treating some of the main symptoms such as bronchoconstriction by using Beta-agonists, or trying to treat the effector mechanisms by using biologics. These treatments had both low response rates and serious side effects.
Alcea’s technology targets an entirely different pathway. It aims to restore immune tolerance in the lungs and thus to reset homeostasis. Alcea’s lead asset targets Treg cells in order to recover their immuno-suppressive function, maintaining the rest of the immune system functional.Pulmonary Viral infections
Respiratory diseases and mainly viral infections of the lungs are the third leading cause of hospitalization in the US. One the main reasons is the yearly Influenza virus infections. It affects more than 31.4 million outpatient visits involving 10.6 million patients and 3.1 million days in hospital. The annual medical costs are in excess of $10B, and the disease accounts for more than 40,000 deaths
a year. The current medications for Influenza virus infection can protect from mild and moderate cases of the disease while severe cases are poorly treated. Recently, SARS-CoV2 virus has emerged, causing COVID-19 infection affecting different organs, mainly the lungs. While the use of Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, has helped severe cases, other leads such as Remdesivir or Baricitinib have yet to show consistent positive results. Alcea Tx’s technology has been validated in preclinical mouse models as well as humanized mouse models for H1N1 influenza virus and proved to restore immune tolerance in the lung. Moreover, by restoring the healing activity of the Treg cells, we were able to enhance tissue healing and tissue restoration and thus decrease the incident of the secondary infections considered as the main cause of death for patients on ventilators.We are currently validating our technology in other models for SARS-CoV2 viral infection in anticipation to get our leading asset further into clinics.