Vivreon Biosciences – NCI SBIR # PA-17-302
Vivreon Biosciences is pleased to apply for NCI SBIR Solicitation #PA-17-302. Vivreon
Biosciences is an innovative life sciences company that is developing a novel small molecule,
Ca2+ channel inhibitor, VV2003, to improve outcomes in persons undergoing checkpoint inhibitor
immunotherapy. Checkpoint inhibitors have improved overall survival in numerous cancers, but
enterocolitis has emerged as the most frequent dose-limiting toxicity associated with these
therapies. Checkpoint inhibitor induced colitis is currently treated with immunosuppressive
therapy, which blunts the tumor-killing potential of the checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy.
VV2003 is an oral candidate therapeutic designed to selectively and safely block enterocolitis
without systemic immunosuppression side effects.
Vivreon seeks NCI funding to bridge the gap between discovery and development. We will
perform predevelopment genotoxicity and in vivo checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy enterocolitis
animal model efficacy studies. Upon successful completion of the program, our preclinical
candidate will be the first to specifically inhibit Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels for
immunosuppression targeted specifically to sites of enterocolitis. Leukocyte CRAC channels
facilitate Ca2+ influx, a process that is upstream of numerous enterocolitis disease-causing
processes including immune infiltration and inflammatory cytokine secretion. VV2003 has
extremely low epithelial permeability and remains in the gut lumen following oral administration.
This permits VV2003 to achieve colon-restricted immunosuppression, avoiding unwanted
systemic side effects. We have developed several strategies to confirm that VV2003 can be used
in combination with multiple checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies, including in vitro and in vivo
checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy blockade assays. The final aim for this proposal is
characterization and testing of the first CRAC channel inhibitor to address enterocolitis associated
with checkpoint immunotherapy.