Advancing Our Pipeline

At IFM Therapeutics, we create drug candidates to solve challenging problems in the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders and cancer. These new medicines have the potential to significantly improve immune response in patients with these conditions.

Inflammation

Antagonists of NLR Proteins
A spectrum of inflammatory diseases are associated with mutations in the NLR gene family. The NLR family is composed of 23 cytosolic proteins with variable recognition motifs that are responsible for detecting cellular threats using pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP) or damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMP). After recognition, some NLRs change shapes to assemble a multi-protein structure known as an inflammasome, which activates inflammatory processes.

Certain diseases trigger the innate immune system to unnecessarily respond and cause excessive inflammation. This type of chronic inflammation is associated with autoimmune and auto-inflammatory conditions.

By blocking inflammasome activity, our small-molecule inhibitors may help reduce overactive cytokine production and stop inflammatory signaling. IFM is investigating several members of the NLR family including NLRP1, NLRP3, NLRP6, NLRP10 and NLRC4. By targeting components of the inflammasome, the potential exists for our NLR antagonists to be used for multiple indications and to serve as first-in-class innate immune modulators for the treatment of liver fibrosis/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and gout.

Immuno-oncology

Cancers grow when tumor cells evade detection by the immune system. Our small-molecule oncology therapies work within the tumor microenvironment to activate innate immune responses, which subsequently alert the adaptive immune system to the tumor’s presence. Not only do these inflammatory signals target the cancer cell for destruction, they also form the basis for immunological memory, which may limit the recurrence of cancer.

Our clinical candidates can potentially be used as stand-alone agents and in combination with other treatments, such as checkpoint inhibitors, to induce a more effective and durable response than what is possible with current therapies.