Proprietary transgenic mouse produces human form of FasL protein
May 4, 2023 – MILAN – PinCell, a biotechnology company developing a first-in-class therapy for rare and debilitating autoimmune skin diseases, announced the successful completion of two independent in-vivo studies of its lead candidate (PC111) using a proprietary transgenic mouse model expressing the human form of the target protein (FasL). PinCell is a spin-off of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and was seed financed by Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm based in Paris, London and Milan.
PinCell’s monoclonal anCbody, PC111, proved effective in the neonatal passive pemphigus mouse model, considered the gold standard for testing treatments of pemphigus, a rare and debilitating skin disease marked by extreme blistering of skin and mucosae. Using the proprietary transgenic mouse, PC111 inhibited the production of blisters by at least 80%, confirming previous studies in in-vitro and ex-vivo human models of pemphigus. PC111 was also shown to dose-dependently neutralize human FasL in another in-vivo seVng involving the Concanavalin-A liver model, which induces an acute release of FasL into the blood.
“This is a great achievement for the company,” said Dr. Antonino (Tony) Amato, Chief ExecuCve Officer of PinCell. “It provides for the first Cme in-vivo proof of concept evidence of PC111 effect in a humanized disease setting.”
“We feel a real sense of accomplishment,” said Prof. Carlo Pincelli, founder and Chief Medical Officer at PinCell. “By developing a proprietary model, we have now shown that our anCbody does indeed inhibit blister formation by binding specifically to the human target.”
“What is more, the humanized FasL mouse model could prove to be a valuable tool to study the involvement of the Fas/FasL pathway in other diseases in which this pathway may play a key role in disease development and progression,” Prof. Pincelli added.
Pemphigus is a rare condition that affects about 300,000 patients worldwide. Conservatively, a treatment based on PC111 would be beneficial for over 30 percent of this population who are relapsing or refractory to first line treatments.
PinCell’s therapy will be an alternative to steroids or immunosuppressants currently prescribed or under development. By acCting downstream from the immune system, at the level of skin cells, PC111’s innovative mode of action will contribute to the reduction or the avoidance of steroids/immunosuppressants, while showing a rapid onset of action.
PinCell is a biotechnology company targeting a novel pathological pathway to develop first-inclass anti-inflammatory therapies for the treatment of rare, severe and highly undertreated skin diseases. Based in Milan, Italy, PinCell was founded in October 2008 as an academic spinoff of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia by the world-class dermatology experts Prof. Carlo Pincelli and Prof. Alessandra Marconi. PinCell received seed funding from Sofinnova Partners.
For more information, please visit: www.pincell.it
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, with offices in London and Milan, the firm brings together a team of 40 professionals from all over Europe, the U.S. and Asia. The firm focuses on paradigm-shibing technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners invests across the Life Sciences value chain as a lead or cornerstone investor, from very early-stage opportunities to late-stage/public companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 48 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management. For more information, please visit: sofinnovapartners.com
Tony Amato, MD