Amura looking to license osteoporosis treatment

05 Dec 2006 | News

Licensing opportunity

Amura Holdings Limited of Cambridge has announced progress in the preclinical development of its osteoporosis cathepsin K programme, and says it is looking for licensees. 

In the latest study, designed to evaluate a series of orally bioavailable inhibitors, all test compounds showed a dose-dependent capacity to decrease osteoclast activity and increase bone formation. Bone turnover was significantly decreased by all the test compounds. 

The compounds, which the company says have good pharmacokinetic as well as highly desirable drug-like properties, exhibit cross-species activity in rat and human osteoclast assays. This has enabled rapid preclinical evaluation, accelerating the process of selecting a preclinical candidate. The compounds also have potential utility in the treatment of osteoarthritis and bone metastasis.

Cathepsin K is an enzyme which breaks down the collagen bone matrix as part of a normal biological process. In disease conditions such as osteoporosis, the relative level cathepsin K activity is increased, thereby increasing bone degradation.

Amura’s compounds are derived from its proprietary AMcore scaffold for designing inhibitors of the cysteine peptidase enzyme family. The company has further programmes selectively targeting cathepsin S and other members of this family.

Amura is looking to out-license its cathepsin K inhibitor products for clinical development.

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