JW Pharmaceuticals Tuesday said it discovered a novel orally available H4R antagonist class that can be used to treat atopic dermatitis, noting it would work towards developing the “promising” clinical candidate.
Commonly referred to as eczema, atopic dermatitis can cause the skin to develop red, scaly and crusted bumps that are often itchy.
JW’s research findings are centered on a derivate of the “JW601” compound, which was obtained through a technology transfer with C&C Research Laboratories last May, according to the company.
C&C Research Laboratories is a joint venture between Korea’s JW Pharmaceutical and Japan’s Chugai Pharmaceutical.
JW said it used its pharmacophore-based virtual screening system called CLOVER to find the initial hit compound 9 and eventually discover the novel chemotype of the potent and highly selective H4R antagonist.
H4Rs - a member of the G-protein coupled receptor family – have been considered to be a possible therapeutic target for treating atopic dermatitis (AD) but none have been found to control both pruritus (an unpleasant sensation that provokes a desire to scratch) and inflammation in patients.
The derivative, dubbed compound 48, showed “remarkable” efficacy on pruritus and inflammation as well as a “favorable” pharmacokinetic profile in animal studies, the company said.
The findings were published in the online publication Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.