Novel inhibitors for the treatment of lupus

Novel inhibitors for the treatment of lupus

The opportunity

  • There is currently no cure for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are over-activated in patients with SLE.
  • Our novel inhibitor selectively inhibits pDC development and is a potential treatment for SLE.

SLE is an immune disorder in which pDCs are over-activated. It is estimated to affect around 20-40 people out of every 100,000. There is currently no cure for SLE and treatments are predominantly aimed at easing symptoms.

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The technology

pDCs are a key driver of SLE due to overproduction of interferons. W479 is a novel inhibitor developed at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute that selectively depletes pDCs.

We have completed comprehensive in vitro validation in mouse and commenced in vitro validation in human models.

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Opportunities for partnership

We are seeking a partner to co-invest in the development of novel inhibitors of pDCs.

We have:

  • An inhibitor of pDC development with nm potency
  • Conducted medicinal chemistry studies and SAR characterisation
  • Validated an HTS assay
  • World-leading expertise in development of pDC inhibitors

We are seeking investment to support:

  • The development of a lead candidate
  • Demonstration of in vivo efficacy and safety
  • Positioning the technology for pre-clinical toxicity program and IND filing

Scientific team

Associate Professor Shalin Naik, Laboratory head, Molecular Medicine division

Professor Guillaume Lessene, Leader, New Medicines and Advanced Technologies Theme


Dr Anne-Laure Puaux, Head, Biotechnology and Commercialisation

Phone: +61 3 9345 2175