How Equillium Inc Could Help Lead The Fight Against Autoimmune Diseases

Equillium Inc. EQ is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that focuses on immunobiology to develop novel therapeutics to treat severe autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Equillium’s focus is on disorders with high unmet medical needs, making their drug pipeline potentially very valuable. 

The company currently has a drug in a Phase 3 study for patients with acute graft-versus-host disease. Graft-versus-host disease is a highly rare disease where donor bone marrow and stem cells attack a recipient after a transplant. Equillium’s drug itolizumab is a first-in-class monoclonal antibody that targets the CD6-ALCAM signaling pathway which can play a central role in the modulation of effector T cells to help combat the attacking donor stem cells. Itolizumab is also being used in a Phase 1b study for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis. 

EQ101 is another drug in Equillium’s pipeline. EQ101 is a first-in-class tri-specific cytokine inhibitor that selectively targets IL-2, IL-9, and IL-15. The drug is in Phase 2 clinical trial for patients with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that usually results in unpredictable, patchy hair loss. EQ102, a bi-specific cytokine inhibitor targeting IL-15 & IL-21 is being used in a Phase 1 study for patients with celiac disease, a disorder that's triggered when you eat gluten. 

Bites By Numbers

  • The lupus nephritis itolizumab study has shown positive interim results for the Type B portion of the study. By week 28, 50% of patients achieved a complete response. 67% of patients receiving more than one dose achieved a greater than 50% reduction in UPCR.
  • Further data and results from the lupus nephritis study are expected in mid-2023.
  • EQ101 Phase 2 study in patients with alopecia areata is expecting data in 2023. 
  • EQ102 Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers patients with celiac disease is expecting data in 2023. 
  • The company announced a definitive merger agreement to acquire Metacrine. This acquisition is anticipated to add $35 million in cash to Equillium.
  • At the end of the Third Quarter cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $44.5 million. Equillium believes that its cash and investments, together with the additional cash that will be acquired with the expected closing of the Metacrine acquisition, will be sufficient to fund its operations into 2024.

With more than 100 autoimmune diseases affecting 50 million Americans, companies like Equillium are fundamental to providing quality care and therapeutic options to patients struggling with rare autoimmune diseases. 

This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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