Therapeutics

Therapeutic chitooligosaccharides

Chitin is one of the most abundant polysaccharides in nature, found in exoskeleton of crustaceans, insects and in some invertebrates.

Chitin has structural, nutritional and physiological function, including in immune response.
Chitin structure and function is maintained by an ancient group of proteins (CLP system) that

    • Synthesize chitin
    • Degrade chitin (chitinases)
    • Bind chitin in the absence of degradation (chitinase-like proteins) to mediate intracellular processes

Genis has developed proprietary chitin derivatives that mimic natural substrates and are not cleaved by mammalian chitinases.  Our lead compound design seeks to target endogenous chitinases as well as the chitinase-like proteins YKL-40 and YKL-39

The CLP system in human disease

A system of chitinases and chitinase-like proteins (the CLP system) plays an important role in humans, being involved in the regulation of:

    • Immunity
    • Inflammation
    • Wound healing

In healthy adults, activity of the CLP system is stable and highly regulated. However, during the development of dysregulated inflammation, CLP expression increases significantly.

Prolonged and excessive activation of the CLP system can create a destructive environment that can ultimately lead to disease.

A number of previous studies have shown that targeting the CLP system is likely to provide a clinically meaningful response, including studies in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and in cancer.

Our novel chitin derived drug candidates

Genis has developed a series of short-chain proprietary chitooligosaccharide (COS) molecules derived from natural chitin (from shrimp shells), based on a proprietary combination of deacetylation and specific enzymatic degradation that leads to product formation that favors certain sequences.

Genis follows in the footsteps of previous work on the physiological role of the CLP system in disease, delivering novel APIs that mimic the natural binding partners of the CLP system and that are bioavailable and shown to be safe in early preclinical studies.

YKL-40 as a therapeutic target

The CLP protein YKL-40 is overexpressed in many inflammatory conditions, including asthma, COPD, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

YKL-40 stimulates cell growth and proliferation, and is an important driver of immune cell activtation.

Genis has shown that certain COS molecules preferentially bind to YKL-40, negatively regulating downstream signalling activity of the protein.  These results underpin our targeted approach, by providing for an anti-inflammatory regulation using well-tolerated bioavailable molecules.   healthy tissue regeneration.

Inflammation

Genis has developed a series of short-chain proprietary chitooligosaccharide (COS) molecules derived from natural chitin (from shrimp shells), based on a proprietary combination of deacetylation and specific enzymatic degradation that leads to product formation that favors certain sequences.

Genis follows in the footsteps of previous work on the physiological role of the CLP system in disease, delivering novel APIs that mimic the natural binding partners of the CLP system and that are bioavailable and shown to be safe in early preclinical studies.