Sarcoidosis is a rare condition which causes inflammatory cells to build up in various organs throughout the body. For 90% of people with a sarcoidosis diagnoses, the lungs are one of the organs affected. When the disease affects the lungs, it is referred to as pulmonary sarcoidosis. This condition ranges in severity, but it can be debilitating and in some cases, fatal.
Pulmonary sarcoidosis is generally diagnosed between the ages of 20 to 39 and there’s an estimated 200,000 people living with the condition in the United States.
Thanks to a collaboration between aTyr Pharma, Pangu BioPharma, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), a new potential treatment for this disease is being investigated.
These organizations are examining ATYR1923, a form of tRNA synthetase. They are evaluating this treatment in a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial.
ATYR1923 is a fusion protein made up of the immuno-modulatory domain of histidyl tRNA synthetase (HARS). HARS is then fused to a human antibody on the FC region. This protein works to decrease the immune response and has been shown to reduce inflammation in animal models. Researchers at HKUST were instrumental in the discovery of HARS, which has made this research possible.
The trial for ATYR1923 is placebo-controlled and is utilizing a multiple-ascending dose format. It will evaluate the tolerability, immunogenicity, safety, steroid sparing effect, and pharmacokinetics profile of the treatment.
The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is assisting aTyr with patient enrollment for the trial and with the initiation of trial sites.
aTyr hopes to replicate this model with some of their other forms of tRNA synthetases. They’re hopeful that this use of combined therapies will help them develop effective therapeutic options for not only pulmonary sarcoidosis, but a wide array of conditions awaiting treatments.
Ultimately, this research is yet another testimony to the power of collaboration in medicine. Through the pooling of resources, minds, and skills, we are able to better serve the patient populations who need it most.
You can read more about this research collaboration here.
You can also read more about aTyr’s development on this therapy here.