The Swedish company Karo Bio has announced that Wyeth and Karo Bio extended their atherosclerosis collaboration for an additional year until August 31, 2008. The primary objective of the extension is to characterize back up compounds and to further evaluate additional clinical possibilities by targeting LXR.
The collaboration with Wyeth started in 2001 with the aim to develop compounds for treatment of atherosclerosis with LXR as target receptor. In August 2006 Wyeth entered phase I clinical development which triggered a milestone payment to Karo Bio.
“We are happy for continuing to work with Wyeth in our joint collaboration and we see great opportunities for compounds that target LXR”, says Per-Olof Wallström, President of Karo Bio.
LXR is a nuclear hormone receptor that is an important regulator of cholesterol metabolism in mammals. LXR has many features that make it an attractive drug development target for prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and dyslipidemia.
Modulation of LXR with small molecule compounds has been demonstrated to enhance the efflux of cholesterol from cells in atherosclerotic blood vessels, resulting in a reduction in the progression of atherosclerotic disease in selected experimental models.