The company has selected diffuse systemic sclerosis (dSSc) as the second indication for its lead program VP01 (C21), which complements the primary indication, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
Diffuse systemic sclerosis is a disease with a strong involvement of angiotensin II and an upregulation of the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R – the C21 target), which is known to mediate anti-fibrotic as well as vascular effects within a number of disease models. VP01 is currently being explored within an extended phase I study for dose optimization. Both phase IIa studies, in IPF and select patients with dSSc respectively, are expected to commence in the second half of 2019.
“We have decided to explore vascular mechanisms in diffuse systemic sclerosis as a complement to the antifibrotic effects investigated in IPF. The strong upregulation of AT2R in diffuse systemic sclerosis makes VP01 (C21) a distinctive target for this disease and presents an exciting opportunity for Vicore and its lead program, VP01,” says Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, CEO of Vicore Pharma.
About Diffuse systemic sclerosis
Diffuse systemic sclerosis is a rare chronic severe autoimmune disease affecting skin as well as inner organs such as the lung. There is no cure for the disease and severe cases are treated with potent immunomodulatory drugs or autologous stem cell transplantation, with remaining challenges and high unmet need. It has been estimated that between 150-400 individuals per million have systemic sclerosis and its prevalence varies depending on factors such as geography. It is estimated that 20% of the systemic sclerosis patient population has the severe diffuse form. Systemic sclerosis is 3-4 times more common in women than men.
Photo of Carl-Johan Dalsgaard: HealthCap