Verseon Given European Patents to PKIs That Might Treat HAE

Potential oral plasma kallikrein inhibitor seen in VE-4666 and VE-4062

Marisa Wexler, MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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The European Patent Office has granted patent protection to Verseon covering the company’s experimental plasma kallikrein inhibitors (PKIs).

Two of these investigational medications, called VE-4666 and VE-4062, are currently in preclinical development as potential treatments of hereditary angioedema (HAE).

“We’re very pleased with the European Patent Office’s decision to grant” such protection, David Kita, PhD, co-founder and chief science officer at Verseon, said in a company press release.

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Verseon aims for oral kallikrein inhibitor for HAE patients

In HAE, swelling attacks are caused by the overproduction of a signaling molecule called bradykinin. This signaling molecule is produced in the blood by a protein called plasma kallikrein.

As their name implies, PKIs are designed to block the activity of plasma kallikrein, thereby reducing bradykinin levels and ultimately preventing swelling in HAE.

Several therapies are approved to treat HAE, including two that work by blocking the activity of kallikrein: Kalbitor (ecallantide) and Takhzyro (lanadelumab). These and other HAE treatments need to be administered via infusion or injection.

Verseon’s experimental PKIs for HAE are designed to be taken as an oral pill, which is expected to be more convenient for patients, making regular prophylactic treatment to prevent swelling episodes easier.

Verseon is also developing PKIs to potentially diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema — eye disorders that are the leading cause of vision loss in people with diabetes, affecting about one-third of diabetics worldwide. There are currently no therapies available for diabetic retinopathy in its earlier stages, and the company also reported that while some therapies exist for later disease stages, they can be invasive and are not always effective at preventing vision loss.

Verseon is also exploring the potential of PKIs to treat heart disease, sepsis, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and some forms of cancer.

“These novel compounds have unique sets of pharmacological properties that could help hundreds of millions of people around the world. I’m very proud of our team for creating them,” Kita said.

The European patent protection covers Verseon’s PKIs for use in diabetic eye conditions and HAE. These patents follow similar intellectual property protections granted in the U.S., Mexico, Israel, and Australia, the company reported in its release.