NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands I November 04, 2020 ISaillant Therapeutics, an innovative preclinical stage biotechnology company developing promising small molecule-based therapies, today announced that it has obtained Proof of Concept for its lead compound (ST02) indicated for the treatment of heart failure. The compound was tested in a well-established preclinical heart failure model in which it induced a clear reversal to normal of the functional impairments in heart failure, such as Cardiac Output and Ejection Fraction. Moreover, histological reversal demonstrated an unprecedented rejuvenation of myocardial tissue.

These results, with its lead compound, will allow the company to start clinical trials within one to two years. Preclinical safety studies are presently being conducted in collaboration with renowned CROs.

Heart failure
The company’s original science was based on a novel therapy for heart failure. Using a heart failure animal model, Saillant found out that the new treatment restored heart function in failing hearts after four weeks of treatment. Treated hearts reversed to normal geometry with a significant reduction in scar tissue (fibrosis).

Once heart cells are under stress, there is only a limited period during which they can overcome this stress. If that fails, cell death occurs. The lead compound (ST02) allows the anti-stress response to remain active for a longer time period, allowing resolvment of the stress and thus preventing cell death. This protection allows maintenance of tissue integrity and function of the failing heart.

Virus inhibiting therapy ending virus replication
While many parties worldwide are focused on developing vaccines and therapies based on antibodies, Saillant targets the complete elimination of viruses, including Covid-19, which presages the outbreak of most upcoming virus variants. Recently Saillant discovered promising novel mechanisms that could lead to the development of several novel anti-viral therapies. These mechanisms are based on the activation of a specific cellular master regulator. Compounds acting through these mechanisms induce adaptive functions in infected cells, thereby inhibiting virus replication.

Future activities
Saillant will continue  testing the effect of its lead compound in different heart failure models including myocardial infarction and diabetic cardiomyopathy. In addition, Saillant has teamed up with several partners to test its lead compound in disease models that share the same mechanisms of pathology such as Alzheimer’s disease and COVID-19 infection.

Joost van Bree, CEO of Saillant Therapeutics, states: “I am very excited that we have discovered a novel mechanism of action for the treatment of heart failure. Heart failure is an indication of a high unmet medical need, as it affects more than 30 million patients globally. Half of these patients will succumb to this disease within 5 years after diagnosis. Moreover, due to the frequent need for hospitalization, heart failure causes over 95 billion USD in annual global health care costs.

Unlike current drug therapies that provide only moderate symptomatic relief, our lead compound offers a genuinely novel and innovative perspective, as it is unique in its disease-modifying effect, restoring myocardial functionality. We will now vigorously pursue the development program for establishing the necessary data package to get IND approval towards initial clinical trials in the target patient population.” 

About Saillant Therapeutics
Saillant Therapeutics, established in 2018 by Dr. Hamid el Azzouzi and Dr. Ad van Gorp, and recently joined by Dr. Joost van Bree as CEO, leverages its expertise in preclinical drug development to further validate and develop the promising therapeutic strategy of its “ST”- platform against acute ischemic stroke, heart failure (HF), Alzheimer’s disease and viral infections in general.

The “ST” lead  compounds activate a cellular master regulator, thus controlling adaptive functions in various cells and tissues. Therapeutic intervention through this regulator mechanism enables the prevention of tissue damage to vital organ systems such as the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system. The same mechanism also effectively inhibits intracellular virus replication.

Saillant Therapeutics has a product pipeline covering novel compounds of which a number of therapeutic leads were selected. To date, seed financing has enabled the preclinical development and validation of these “ST” derivatives. It is the ambition of Saillant to advance its “ST” platform also towards a variety of applications, resulting in at least one lead drug candidate reaching the clinic before the end of 2022.

SOURCE: Saillant Therapeutics