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Drug development

Kither Biotech is developing drugs that target the PI3K signalling pathway, for the treatment of rare respiratory diseases like cystic fibrosis (CF) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Kither Biotech’s approach ensures local inhibition of the PI3K signalling pathway in the lungs. We have developed two proprietary chemical moieties that modulate signal transduction events controlled by PI3K enzymes.

As kinases, PI3K enzymes amplify the extracellular signals within the cell that control metabolism and proliferation. Abnormal growth and proliferation of fibroblasts is the primary cause of IPF, a chronic scarring lung disease characterized by a progressive and irreversible decline in lung function.

In addition, PI3Ks enzymes are also essential partners for other proteins. The Kither Biotech team has discovered that the PI3Kγ isoform works as the aggregator of a series of enzymes that control the cAMP signalling axis. The elevation of cAMP induced by interfering with this action of PI3Kγ in the lungs leads to three pharmacological effects: opening of the chloride channel CFTR, dilatation of bronchi and reduction in inflammation. Dysfunctional CFTR is the genetic cause of a severe condition called cystic fibrosis.