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Bridge Biotherapeutics and GPCR Therapeutics Forge Out-Licensing Partnership for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Therapeutics

Friday, December 15, 2023

GPCR Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has entered into an out-licensing agreement with Bridge Biotherapeutics (KQ288330) for the treatment method involving a combination of CXCR4-LPA1 inhibitors. The agreement includes an upfront payment of KRW 2 billion (approximately USD 1.5 million) and a 50:50 profit-share on future commercialization, including sub-licenses.

In collaboration with Bridge Biotherapeutics, GPCR will jointly develop and commercialize the combination therapy. Bridge Biotherapeutics has been actively advancing its idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) pipeline, notably the phase 2a clinical trial of BBT-877, an autotaxin inhibitor for IPF treatment.

GPCR previously published a paper in a peer-reviewed journal highlighting the direct interaction between two G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), CXCR4 and LPA1, known to promote fibrotic diseases such as IPF. In vitro experiments demonstrated that inhibiting CXCR4 enhances the efficacy of LPA1 inhibition, establishing a scientific foundation for the necessity of the CXCR4-LPA1 inhibitor combination for comprehensive anti-fibrotic activity. GPCR filed a provisional patent application based on this discovery.

Dr. Dong Seung Seen, founder and CEO of GPCR Therapeutics, expressed optimism, stating, “Since the publication of our paper, various global companies have expressed interest in the relationship between LPA1 and CXCR4. Due to the versatility of our patent, we look forward to collaborating with many IPF-targeting companies, starting with Bridge Biotherapeutics.”

James Lee, founder and CEO of Bridge Biotherapeutics, shared enthusiasm for the collaboration, saying, “We are encouraged to collaborate with GPCR Therapeutics to uncover new possibilities for IPF treatment. Our collaboration will help us move forward in identifying and bringing novel IPF treatments, such as a combination therapy of LPA1 and CXCR4 inhibitors, based on GPCR’s latest research.”

IPF is a progressive chronic lung condition characterized by scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs, leading to increased difficulty in breathing. The impairment of oxygen transfer through air sacs in the lungs results in reduced efficiency. Currently, there is no treatment to stop or reverse the irreversible lung damage caused by IPF. In the U.S., there are approximately 495 cases per 100,000 people, with a median survival estimated at 2–5 years from the time of diagnosis.



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