Aqilion appoints Scientific Advisory Board
Aqilion today announces the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board with three key appointments: Dr. Luc Michel Biedermann, Professor Albert J Bredenoord and Professor Evan S. Dellon. The Scientific Advisory Board will work closely with Aqilion’s management in the development of the company's Regulus program in preparation for planning Phase 2 trials in patients with the inflammatory disease Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE).
Within the Regulus program, Aqilion is developing the drug candidate AQ280, a selective JAK-1 inhibitor, as a potential oral treatment for EoE, an allergic disease of the esophagus. The main symptom of this chronic disease is significant dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), which can become so severe that the esophagus develops scar tissue (strictures) and food can get stuck or impacted. The disease can occur in patients of any age but tends to be more common in younger adults. The number of patients diagnosed is increasing rapidly as knowledge of the disease becomes more widespread and there is a clear medical need for new therapies. Currently, two different types of drugs have been approved: treatment with corticosteroids is approved in Europe and treatment with a biologic drug, an anti-Il4/13 antibody, is approved in the US and in Europe. There is currently no approved treatment with the same mechanism of action as Aqilion’s drug candidate AQ280.
A first clinical trial, the Phase 1 safety study ARIA-1, began in August 2022 and will include 64 healthy volunteers. The study is expected to be completed in the first half of the year and reported in the third quarter of 2023, after which the aim is to continue clinical development with a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients. The Scientific Advisory Board will support Aqilion’s management and the continued clinical development based on their respective fields of knowledge and experience from research, clinical trials and as physicians who treat patients with EoE.
"With our new Scientific Advisory Board, three internationally renowned scientists are joining our team as advisors. Both their outstanding scientific and clinical expertise and an active network of researchers in EoE will be invaluable for Aqilion”, says Sarah Fredriksson, CEO of Aqilion.
Luc Michel Biedermann, MD, PhD
Head of the Department of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)
Senior Physician Gastroenterology & Hepatology, USZ, Zurich
Dr Luc Biedermann focuses on chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). His research group is engaged in investigations of the epidemiology and the natural course of these diseases in connection with the current treatment options. In addition, Dr Biederman’s research aims to explore the influence of environmental factors in combination with other risk factors such as genetics, intestinal microbiota, or psychosocial factors, on chronic, immune-mediated diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Dr Biederman is internationally recognized in the field through his published research and his role as Head of the EoE outpatient clinic of the USZ together with Chairman Prof. Alex Straumann. Dr Biedermann is a member of the EUREOS (European Consortium of Eosinophilic Diseases of the GI tract) steering committee.
Professor Albert J (Arjan) Bredenoord, MD, PhD
Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Amsterdam UniversityMedical Center Amsterdam and professor of Neurogastroenterology & Motility at the University of Amsterdam
Dr Arjan Bredenoord currently works as a consultant gastroenterologist at the Amsterdam University Medical Center where he is dedicated to patient care, scientific research and education in the field of benign esophageal diseases. His main focus is on achalasia, reflux disease and eosinophilic esophagitis. Dr Bredenoord is globally recognized as an expert in EoE and the esophageal clinic in the AMC Amsterdam hosts the largest population of benign esophageal diseases in the Netherlands. Dr Arjan Bredenoord is an author of over 250 papers, books and book chapters on esophageal diseases and organizes regular courses in Europe, North America and Asia. He was president of the European EoE network EUREOS, and presently and currently still involved as a member of the steering committee.
Professor Evan S. Dellon, MD, MPH
Dept. of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology,
Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology
Director, Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing
Director, CGIBD Biostatistics and Clinical Research Core
School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Dellon is an academic gastroenterologist with formal research training in epidemiology, clinical and translational research, and clinical trial design. He leads and collaborates with multidisciplinary research teams in the field of esophageal diseases in general and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and eosinophil gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs) in particular. His current research focuses on optimizing the diagnosis, characterizing the epidemiology, studying the pathogenesis, and refining the treatment and monitoring of EoE and EGIDs, with the overall goal of improving patient care and outcomes. Dr. Dellon is an internationally recognized expert on EoE and EGIDs. He has published extensively on these topics, spanning descriptive and etiologic epidemiology, clinical trials, outcome measures, and translational research.
Aqilion is a biotech company that focuses on developing new innovative treatments for diseases caused by chronic inflammation and dysfunctional immune reactions such as autoimmune diseases. The company is mainly active in the early phases of drug discovery, from idea to early clinical development.
Aqilion combines its experience from major pharmaceutical companies with the drive and entrepreneurship of small growth companies. With solid experience in business development in innovative biotech and pharmaceutical companies, the company’s experienced team and Board of Directors have successfully navigated the process from drug discovery to market.
AQILION AB (publ) is a Swedish public limited company headquartered in Helsingborg, Sweden. www.aqilion.com