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ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Initiates Scientific Collaboration to Investigate the Distinct Role of IL-13 Receptor Signaling in Atopic Dermatitis
MENLO PARK, Calif. and SINGAPORE, June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ASLAN Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ASLN), a clinical-stage, immunology-focused biopharmaceutical company developing innovative treatments to transform the lives of patients, today announced that it has initiated a research collaboration with Dr Shawn Kwatra, as an advisor, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Dr Madan Kwatra from Duke University Medical Center to investigate the unique role of the IL-13Ra1 subunit, distinct from the role of other pathway components, in Type 2-mediated inflammatory diseases, specifically atopic dermatitis (AD).
The research collaboration will evaluate the role of IL-13Ra1 in moderate-to-severe AD patient samples and will test how IL-13Ra1-mediated allergic, inflammatory and regulatory pathways are affected by eblasakimab’s selective targeting of the Type 2 receptor in contrast to a broader blockade of both the Type 1 and Type 2 receptors seen in current standards of care. The studies will also explore the downstream effects of specifically targeting IL-13Ra1 by eblasakimab and help to further the understanding of the biological relevance of IL-4 and IL-13 signaling. Initial findings from the collaboration will be disclosed for presentation during the second half of 2022.
Shawn Kwatra, MD, is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and Director of the Johns Hopkins Itch Center. His areas of clinical expertise include atopic dermatitis, chronic pruritus, prurigo nodularis and dermatology for ethnic skin. Dr Kwatra has been an author or co-author on over 180 publications and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Skin of Color Society.
Madan Kwatra, PhD, is the Director of the Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory in the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center. Dr Kwatra is a receptor pharmacologist and was trained with Nobel Laureate Dr Bob Lefkowitz.
“This is an encouraging time in atopic dermatitis with a variety of novel therapies becoming available,” commented Dr Shawn Kwatra, Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “To improve treatment options for patients, it is important to focus on obtaining a better understanding of the role of specific disease mechanisms targeted by different groups of therapies, such as the various components of the Type 1 and Type 2 receptor complexes that regulate IL-4 and IL-13 signaling. From advances in psoriasis, where numerous therapies have been developed, we have learned that targeting different subunits in common molecular pathways can have drastically different clinical effects. We are hopeful this study could potentially clarify the distinct roles of the Type 1 and Type 2 receptors and their components in driving AD pathogenesis.”
Dr Ferda Cevikbas, Head Translational Sciences, ASLAN Pharmaceuticals, commented, “This collaboration will help us understand the unique role of IL-13Ra1 signaling in AD, and provide a mechanistic basis for eblasakimab’s differentiation versus other pathway-specific treatments. We are looking forward to working with Dr Shawn Kwatra and Dr Madan Kwatra to generate insights that inform how the differentiated targeting of IL-13-relevant pathways might benefit AD patients who are yet to find relief from this chronic disease.”
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