Retinoid-Acid Receptor-related Orphan Receptor gamma t (RORγt) Program

RORγt inverse agonists for the treatment of autoimmune diseases

RORγt is a highly attractive target for the treatment of autoimmune diseases like Psoriasis or Rheumatoid Arthritis — diseases for which no curative or at least satisfying treatment is available.

RORγt is controlling the differentiation of a major contributor to chronic inflammation in these diseases, the TH17 immune cells. Inhibition of RORγt has the potential to selectively suppress TH17 driven chronic inflammation while leaving the remainder of the immune system intact.

Phenex has discovered the world wide first potent and patent-protected series of RORγt inhibitors. These compounds show strikingly selective effects in suppressing TH17 mediated rises in IL-17 and related cytokines while leaving the TH1 and TH2 mediated immune response intact. Thus, the identification of RORγt inhibitors opens up new avenues for the development of more efficacious and more selective medicines against autoimmune diseases.

As of 2013, the RORγt program is partnered with Janssen Biotech Inc., a market leader in the field of innovative autoimmune disease treatments, to jointly explore different chemical series of RORγt inhibitors. The collaboration combines Phenex's nuclear receptor know how and the immunology and development expertise of Janssen to develop new RORγt based treatments for autoimmune diseases.