Compound EA-230 is a derivative of the human pregnancy hormone and the first of a class of several small, chemically synthesized peptides for addressing tissue damage and promoting repair that has been further developed by EBI.
Physicians have long observed that pregnant women tolerate their fetus as a ‘50% foreign body’ without eliciting a rejection response against the “foreign tissue”. This protective response provides substantial benefit to both mother and child, and, importantly, the tissue protecting effects that induce this tolerance are not associated with an increased susceptibility to infections at large. The Company’s lead product is a derivative of the human pregnancy-hormone beta-HCG.
Insight into how these effects occur provided us with an interesting lead for developing synthetic tissue-protecting and tissue-repair therapies. EBI identified and tested a family of polypeptides derived from the human pregnancy hormone (human Chorionic Gonadotrophin hormone, hCG), which were found to protect against endotoxin-induced tissue damage. As an additional benefit, and as opposed to traditional small molecule drugs, peptides bind specifically to their in vivo targets, resulting in exceptionally high potencies of action and relatively few off-target side effects.
The promise of biological peptides
Over the last decades, several novel drugs have been developed to treat autoimmune diseases. These drugs, such as recombinant antibodies that block an antigen or receptor, specifically target different parts of the immune system. As opposed to traditional small molecule drugs, peptides bind specifically to their natural targets, resulting in exceptionally high potencies of action and relatively few off-target side effects. The development of these ‘biologicals’ has had an enormous impact on the treatment of some (chronic) autoimmune diseases.
Competitive advantage of EA-230
EA-230 has major advantages over alternative products that are currently in development. EA-230 is a linear tetramer peptide and belongs to a family of small peptides related to the human pregnancy hormone hCG. As hCG is naturally present in pregnant women, its synthetic derivative EA-230 is expected to be superior in terms of safety and side effects. So far EA-230 has demonstrated an excellent safety profile. EA-230 is manufactured by chemical synthesis. This makes it cost-effective to manufacture specifically when compared to recombinant products.