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Vicore selects new ATRAG as next Drug Candidate

  • C103, an angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) agonist (ATRAG), has been selected as Drug Candidate
  • The compound has a very high selectivity for the AT2R over the AT1R
  • A phase 1 trial is expected to start in H2-2023

Gothenburg, October 12, 2022 – Vicore Pharma Holding AB (publ) (“Vicore”), pioneering development of angiotensin II type 2 receptor agonists (ATRAGs), today announces that the compound C103 has been selected as the company’s third ATRAG drug candidate to move forward into toxicology studies and thereafter a phase 1 trial. 

In preclinical testing, C103 has shown a more than 40,000 times higher affinity for the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) compared to the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R). The AT2R is a resolution and repair receptor whereas AT1R stimulation increases blood pressure and promotes inflammation and fibrosis. This profile makes C103 particularly suitable for indications such as preeclampsia where any AT1R stimulation is undesirable. The class of ATRAGs has so far shown a favorable safety profile, most likely because they stimulate an endogenous protective system and because AT2R is upregulated in disease while the expression is generally low in healthy tissue. C103, with expected patent protection until at least 2040, will next be tested in both general toxicology and safety pharmacology studies as well as reproduction toxicology studies.

“C103 has shown a very promising profile with highly selective dose-dependent AT2R stimulation without unfavorable properties” says Johanna Gräns, Head of Preclinical Development at Vicore.

Preeclampsia is a tentative indication for C103 based on convincing preclinical data supporting a role for ATRAGs in this disease as well as the documented positive effects on blood flow in humans. It is a potentially very serious disease affecting 4.6% of pregnancies, and each year 76,000 women and 500,000 babies die worldwide. There is currently no treatment except lowering of blood pressure and, when necessary, premature delivery.   

“While still at an early stage, the findings reinforce our confidence in the ATRAG opportunity and our commitment to capitalize on our scientific lead and pipeline” says Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, CEO of Vicore.

About angiotensin II type 2 receptor agonists (ATRAGs)
The AT2R is part of the body’s resolution and repair system and is suggested to be protective in several diseases connected to ageing and cell senescence, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, heart failure as well as cognitive disorders. Stimulating AT2R has been shown to be effective in combatting disease in numerous models and clinical validation is well advanced in acute and chronic lung disease. Stimulating AT2R also dilates small diseased resistance vessels in animals and in humans, resulting in locally increased blood flow. Vicore is developing C21 for rare lung diseases and has a series of new ATRAGs in development for other indications, the first of which (C106) is in clinical phase 1.

For further information, please contact:
Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, CEO
Phone: +46 70 975 98 63

This information was submitted for publication on October 12, 2022 at 08:00 CET.

Source: Vicore Pharma