Altavant Sciences, headquartered in Cary, is balancing the development of two promising compounds to treat two rare respiratory diseases.
Altavant is developing rodatristat ethyl to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and ALTA-2530 for bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS).
“There is a good synergy in our portfolio,” said CEO William Symonds, PharmD. “We look forward to advancing our two programs while also looking for more opportunities in rare respiratory and lung diseases.”
First drug candidate progressing through clinical trial testing
Rodatristat ethyl is one of the first therapies that Altavant started developing. It inhibits an enzyme called tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) to reduce the amount of serotonin the body produces. In the case of PAH, too much serotonin in the systemic circulation may cause arteries in the lungs to narrow leading to breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness, fainting, chest pain and swelling in arms and legs. Rodatristat ethyl is designed to reduce the amount of serotonin affecting the lung arteries so they open and allow blood to flow more easily.
“Knocking down the amount of serotonin in the body, while leaving serotonin levels in the brain unaffected, is a new approach to the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension,” said Symonds.
Rodatristat ethyl has the potential to address the underlying cause of PAH, not merely its symptoms. A clinical trial to determine its safety is currently underway.
PAH is a progressive and deadly disease that affects people of all ages. Over 250,000 people have been diagnosed with PAH in the United States.
Company expands pipeline with acquisition
ALTA-2530 is a preclinical compound that is a recent addition to the Altavant pipeline. Altavant gained the rights to further develop it after acquiring Onspira Therapeutics, a Pennsylvania drug development company, in late 2019.
BOS is a progressive inflammatory condition that leads to airflow obstruction and loss of function in the lung. Over 50% of patients who receive a lung transplant develop the condition within five years of their transplant. BOS is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality after lung transplants.
“There are currently no approved therapies for BOS,” said Symonds. “We have a great sense of urgency to get through the early development work of ALTA-2530 and get it out to the patient population as soon as possible.”
About Altavant Sciences
Altavant is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on elevating patient-centric drug development in rare respiratory diseases. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. in December 2019 through a strategic alliance between Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and Roivant Sciences Ltd. (Headquarters: Basel, London, UK).
(c) North Carolina Biotechnology Center