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Karo Bio and Zydus Cadila Sign Research Agreement for Development of Novel Drugs to Treat Inflammatory Diseases

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Karo Bio and Zydus Cadila have initiated a three year research collaboration with the purpose to discover and develop selective glucocorticoid receptor (GR) modulators for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

Glucocorticoids are used to treat many different inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowels disease, psoriasis and asthma which together represent a market potential of over USD 10 bn. These powerful anti-inflammatory agents with long term use could, however, lead to the development of unwanted side effects like obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis. Thus, there is a great need for new, selective glucocorticoids devoid of one or more of these side effects.

Karo Bio will leverage its expertise in nuclear receptor drug discovery including structural biology, drug design and compound characterization.

Zydus Cadila will carry out a focused drug discovery and development programme, undertaking pre-clinical studies, filing of the Investigational New Drug Application and performing human clinical trials. Both parties will equally share risk and rewards for the collaboration programme.

“The glucocorticoid receptor is one of our prioritized target proteins and we have generated considerable knowledge and expertise in the field. In Zydus Cadila we have found a very complementary partner. Their expertise and strength in chemistry and development will be of great value for the successful outcome of our joint project”, said Mr. Per Olof Wallström, President of Karo Bio.

The glucocorticoid receptor mediates both anti-inflammatory effects and side effects. Karo Bio and Zydus Cadila have now initiated an intensive research program aimed at discovering selectively acting glucocorticoids. The design of new selective compounds will be based on Karo Bio’s detailed knowledge about structural biology aspects of ligand-receptor interactions.