We are a clinical stage biotechnology company developing therapeutic antibodies to treat allergic, inflammatory and proliferative diseases.
We create monoclonal antibodies that activate or block inhibitory receptors on immune cells. Activating inhibitory receptors allows us to directly inhibit cells involved in disease pathogenesis and, in the setting of allergy and inflammation, has the potential to reduce inflammation. In addition, activating inhibitory receptors can counteract multiple activation pathways and thereby has the potential to reduce inflammation more broadly than approaches targeting a single activation pathway. In the setting of proliferative diseases, blocking the inhibitory function of the receptors could restore the immune cell’s ability to identify and kill proliferative cells. Our most advanced antibodies are lirentelimab (AK002) and AK006.
Lirentelimab targets Siglec-8, a receptor expressed on mast cells and eosinophils, two types of white blood cells that are widely distributed in the body and play a central role in the inflammatory response. Inappropriately activated mast cells and eosinophils have been identified as key drivers in a number of severe diseases affecting the skin, gastrointestinal tract, eyes, lungs and other organs. We are developing lirentelimab for the treatment of chronic spontaneous urticaria, atopic dermatitis, and potentially additional indications.
AK006 targets Siglec-6, an inhibitory receptor expressed selectively on mast cells. AK006 appears to reduce mast cell numbers and more potently inhibit mast cell activity, including c-KIT mediated activation. We plan to begin human studies with AK006 in the first half of 2023.