We are a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel drug candidates to treat inflammation and cancer. Our primary focus is anti-inflammatory product candidates targeting SH2-containing inositol-5'-phosphatase 1 ("SHIP1"), which is a key regulator of an important cellular signaling pathway in immune cells, known as the PI3K pathway. Our lead product candidate, AQX-1125, is a SHIP1 activator and has demonstrated broad anti-inflammatory activity. AQX-1125 has successfully completed three clinical trials dosed as a once-daily oral product with over 100 subjects having received AQX-1125 to date. We are currently investigating AQX-1125 in three Phase 2 clinical trials, one for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, one for bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis, or BPS/IC, and one for atopic dermatitis. COPD, BPS/IC and atopic dermatitis are all debilitating chronic inflammatory diseases affecting millions of people worldwide.
Inflammation can be reduced by activation of SHIP1, which is a natural modulator of the PI3K pathway. If the PI3K pathway is overactive, immune cells may produce an abundance of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules and migrate to and concentrate in tissues, resulting in excessive or chronic inflammation. Drugs activating SHIP1 may reduce the function and migration of immune cells and have an anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, because SHIP1 is predominantly present in immune cells, off-tissue toxicities may be minimized. Immune cells with lowered levels of SHIP1 cause abnormal inflammation at mucosal surfaces in response to inflammatory stimuli. Accordingly, we are targeting inflammatory diseases that occur at mucosal surfaces, including those of the respiratory, urinary and gastrointestinal tracts, for which we believe there is broad therapeutic and market potential.
Our longer-term strategy is to broaden our development activities for AQX-1125 and to advance next generation SHIP1 activators for the treatment of additional inflammatory diseases and cancer.