Monocyte Targeting Technology
VBL has developed its Monocyte Targeting Technology (MTT), as an investigational new and specific way to limit chronic inflammation. Our program is based on the discovery of a novel target protein that is selectively expressed on the surface of monocytes and controls their ability to migrate (or 'walk' to) inflamed tissues. This protein is called MOSPD2 (the "mono-walk" receptor).
Our lead MTT candidate, VB-601, is an investigational proprietary monoclonal antibody that binds the MOSPD2 ("mono-walk") receptor and is engineered to specifically block the ability of monocytes to reach inflamed tissues. VB-601 is designed to offer a novel and differentiated approach in the landscape of current anti-inflammatory agents, most of which target pro-inflammatory molecules and work through T and B lymphocytes but are not targeted to the monocyte cells.
VB-601 aims to offer a novel and differentiated mechanism to treat inflammation:
There is no treatment specifically targeting monocytes, key immune cells controlling the inflammatory response. Several drugs target and inhibit T cell or B cell mediated immune response, but the inflammation persists.
VB-601 is an antibody that specifically targets the MOSPD2 “mono-walk” receptor. By binding MOSPD2, VB-601 locks monocytes in a `sticky` state, blocking them from reaching the inflammatory tissue.
Instead of trying to overcome the redundancy of chemo attractants & receptors, VB-601 puts the brakes on the monocytes ability to move, arresting them in the perivascular space.
VBL intends to initiate a first-in-human study of VB-601 in the first quarter of 2023.
Based on our pre-clinical and human ex-vivo data, we believe VB-601 has potential utility in a wide range of immune-inflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), inflammatory bowel disease and other immune-inflammatory diseases.